Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

My Books

I decided to make this year, the year of the declutter. I figured it would be easy to get rid of papers, clothes and other knick knacks that rolled around my house, but I never considered my books. I have always liked the idea of a library, and have proudly added books as often as weekly. Yet, it hit me that I consistently had a pile of books that I never got to, and then they got moved to my library which then meant instead of the library representing what I had read, it resembled closer to the idea what I was wished to read.

I figured it would be easy, but as I began to sift through the books, I began sorting out which ones I would keep and which ones I would sell or donate.  A simple task became hard simply because I could not let go. For example, my graphic novels I absolutely did not wish to let go of them, but then when I really thought about it, it hit me I couldn’t remember the last time I had open the books up. In fact, a big minority of them were still wrapped up, and I had not given them a second glance in ages. Instead, they sat on those shelves just so I could say I had a great library. But why? What was the point?

And so in a fell swoop, I collected them in three boxes and within 48 hours sold them to a dear friend who wants to impart our love of Comics to his children. To me, that alone is worth doing. Then I packed up all the others. But even then, I still kept some. My collection of Indian authors I had read throughout the years. I hope to give that to my family as part of my legacy. I am quite proud of those books as emboldened me to keep writing as an Indian, but more so as someone who is in love with words still.

I am lighter, but not empty, and for now, thats more than enough. Happy Monday!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Accountability

With almost two weeks logged into 2020, it feels like the month will be over soon.  I have made a lot of progress in terms of setting up the right accountability measures to feed my vision, but there is a nagging feeling that perhaps I don’t have all the right tools. That feeling has always been there, and it hits me that it shows up in all areas of my life. I am continually looking for ways to be more effective and efficient, but that type of focus also can make my life narrow. It is why I need feedback from others to know if I am on the right path.

One of the things I am proud of is my willingness to listen and act on feedback from my wife, family, mentors, and colleagues. I see that I often have to be a lot more clearer when I explain my vision to others, and a lot of assumptions are either unclear even to me or not making sense to others. When others look at me with confusion or ask me to explain why I want to do things a certain way, it invites me to look at my ideas in a new way. Do I listen and agree with all feedback? Of course not, but when people ask me questions that forces me to be accountable to my proposed goals.

Last year, there were goals that I kept declaring, yet I was unable (or unwilling) to complete them which led my accountability team to ask me if those goals were as important I said that they were to me. Same for tools. My constant search for new tools to support me meant letting go of older ones, but more often than not. I didn’t give them the time and attention needed to make them effective which ultimately defeated my initial purpose: to keep moving forward.

So the word of 2020 is Accountability and that will be my main tool to get me to my goals and vision!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

2020

It still feels surreal to write that year down. It reminds me the way I felt when I wrote 1990 (my year of high school graduation), and then 2000 (year I began working at Ziba Music). A thrill of the unknown, of possibility, of transformation. I begin 2020 as a practicing attorney (something Papa always wanted for me), and it feels a bit surreal that I now look forward to going to court rather than dread it. I never imagined that I would WANT to train for a marathon and soon a triathlon. That is not the life I had in mind when I was 18 and 28.

As I near 48, it hits me that much of my life would have sounded foreign to the high school me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am glad that some parts of me remain. My desire to do better, to write, to keep growing, to be in service, but I also relish that so much of my insecurity and lack of self worth has dissipated (not completely). I never thought I would be in the position to mentor others when I myself relied so heavily on others to get me to this point in my life. Yet, it makes so much sense. To do what others have done for me over the years.

I start this decade looking forward to being unrecognizable to my 48 year old self, and a total stranger to my colleagues when I go for my 30 year high school reunion (God, that makes me feel old) later on this year.  I am blessed and grateful to be able to write these words as I know there are so many not here anymore. And that’s another thing that strikes me. I never understood that with age also comes loss. It’s been a hard lesson, but one I know will continue and one that I will have to accept.

So 2020 here you are, and here I am. Let’s make for a great decade!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Year In Review

As 2020 closes in, I have been eager to review my year,  figure out what worked, what didn’t and hit the ground running. This past weekend, I managed to devote a few hours to reviewing my planner and my 2019 notebook, and I can say there was a lot of things I learned about myself, and see areas to focus on for the coming year.  The list isn’t comprehensive, but it is stuff that stood out for me.  It is also not to humble brag, but to keep myself on track and accountable.

In 2019, I managed to

  • Attend the Samurai Game Workshop
  • Try Indoor Rock Climbing
  • Experience a Sensory Deprivation Tank
  • Reread and do The Artist’s Way
  • Write a Novel in a Month
  • Ate more vegan but not as regularly as I’d hoped for
  • Adopt an amazing Immigration Law Mentor
  • Do 3 legal Seminars
  • Volunteer 100s of hours at The Harriet Buhai as a family law attorney
  • Volunteer dozens of hours at the LACBA Immigration Legal Aid Project
  • Travel to Seattle, New York and Las Vegas
  • Run a Half Marathon
  • Read a dozen  plus books
  • Deadlift 375 pounds
  • Squat 245 pounds
  • Create a new accountability group to keep me on tasks for my goals
  • Continue my weekly accountability group call for most of the year. \

Yet, when I look at the list, I see so much more possibility for 2020. So much to still learn, grow from, so much more I could accomplish. I noticed that around October is when I ran out of juice and stopped posting updates in my planner. I did increase my note taking in the notebook, and I also faithfully updated my top weekly and monthly goals in a Google sheet I shared with 3 other people on a regular basis.  I also noted that I didn’t add too many personal things in my planner or notebook. Either it didn’t happen, or I didn’t give it the importance it deserves. There is also my nagging habit of being annoyed at things that I cannot control or being in judgement of others and their quirks. Too often, I am quick to assume or judge rather than taking the time to see the person in their light and not my experience. That changes in the coming year.

For 2020, I plan to focus in 3 major areas: Health, Law Practice and Relationships. To that end, I envision doing the following:

Health

  1. Run a Marathon
  2. Crossfit average 3 times a week and improve my weightlifting numbers and finally conquer the pull up
  3. Run a triathlon

Law Practice

  1. Do a minimum of 6 legal/educational seminars
  2. Complete mentorship on Immigration Law
  3. Build Referral Network through BNI and Provisors

Relationships

  1. Year of Travel with my wife
  2. Find New Place
  3. Phone Roulette: call someone randomly when free instead of scrolling mindlessly when waiting a prolonged time

It might seem foolish or even egotistical to make so many goals but I truly believe in the quote “A goal is a dream with a deadline.”  Happy New Year and I look forward to my journey in 2020!

 

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

On Running

As I stepped out to the pavement, a nervousness gripped me. Was I really going to run for two hours? I don’t feel like running at all. I didnt even warm up!  I started off slow, each step felt heavy, but I pushed on. The hard pavement seemed to push back each time my heel touched it as if fighting me each step of the way. I also knew the first mile was always the hardest as the body warmed up, but due to timing this week I would only manage only one run instead of usually two 45 minute runs and an additional long run in which I add 15 minutes each week.  This was my marathon plan, but today it felt like a plan to fail. As I rounded my neighborhood block and closed into my home, I knew I’d hit  bit over 2 miles in 27 minutes. My heart sank as it meant I was running well below my 12 minute mile pace (slow still but for me, fast), and I slowed to a walk as my thoughts bombarded me.

Fuck this. I will just run another time. I don’t feel good. I didn’t run at all this week. I don’t want to do this anymore. 

For five minutes that went on as I walked on and then my heart beats slowed, and I realized that it was that thinking that stopped me from running the entire week so I began running again, and didn’t stop until the two hours passed and I got to 9 miles. It hit me that my running represented a lot of my life. Too often, I did give up when I convinced myself of not doing something, yet more and more, this year I did get back into certain things and started them up. I had a choice to make, and I learned to ignore the negativity. Not always, but way more often than before, and because of that I had so much to show for 2019.

I wonder now if I just continued on everything I had started, how the year would have looked, but that’s the thing also, not everything I began needed to be finished or perhaps not in that moment. It also gives me hope and motivation for the year ahead. So I look forward to running more, not just the actual act, but in my life as well.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

A Beautiful Monday

As the dark becomes whole today, the glow inside me feels like it could light up the day. I had forgotten the joy that comes from spending the day with a being who has just into her second year of life. Living the day through her eyes not only meant seeing everything and everyone as joyful, but also as a treat to behold.  A simple thing like a key brought out giggles, and running through the aisles of a department store meant endless fun.

The day not only shot by, but brought up so much for me. I have been truly blessed to have so many amazing nephews and nieces, and now to be in that environment again just reminds me how lucky my life has been. It’s easy to lose sight of that when we lose people or things come to fruition as planned.  Easy to dwell on the negative and the what if’s or waste time wanting to be right. Instead, today I got to be around a human being whose whole world was about joy and curiosity.

As she held my hand with her tiny fingers, a jolt of past memories as well as present joy coursed through me. Instead of a muggy monday where I bemoaned work. I indulged in laughter, and entertaining another who just seemed happy to be here. Today, that was an important lesson for me to learn.