There’s so much to just randomly observe and comment from a fresh perspective. I never want to stop looking with these eyes.
~See Lemons Just Live
Random Observation/Comment #567: I may have actually written more internal work-related posts than public ones this year (which means I’m really liking what I’m doing).
It’s been a slow year of writing blogposts mostly because of the new role. As I spend the last quiet week before things get crazy in 2017, here are my favorite blogposts of 2016:
~See Lemons Blog in 2016
Random Observation/Comment #566: Get addicted to creating, sharing, and putting good use to content. It’s so much more rewarding than simply absorbing it.
Another year of incredible changing times. I chose the photos above as my favorite because it represents the teamwork and hard work it takes to move the needle. I continue to see some pretty incredible sights and hope these are continuously attained. Let’s keep dreaming.
~See Lemons Photograph 2016
Random Observation/Comment #565: “It’s all downhill from here…” ~All my friends
My 20’s was basically a test of goals, time, and relationship management.
- Goals management is your mission, vision, and true North towards your ideals of success.
- Time management is the organization and prioritization necessary for executing and delivering those goals.
- Relationship management is making the connections and building a community in order to share what you’ve learned.
For keeping my goals inline, I learned from a toastmasters international speech by Dana LaMon from 2010 that outlined the desires and drivers in my life. I wrote my own version and reflected on it yearly.
For making sure I actually accomplished what I set out to, I stuck to the bigger perspective and the little things. We often say we don’t have time to do things, but what we’re really doing is being lazy and not taking our own tasks seriously. Most people spend their entire first 20 years being told what to do, so coming up with your own homework assignments and drive is even more important than doing the work yourself. I enjoyed assigning myself responsibilities and taking charge of them.
To foster relationship growth, I trusted in people’s good nature and chose the people I spend my most time with very carefully. We are ultimately the combination of our 8 closest people, so hopefully they’re engaging, honest, and open-minded. For business, I also learned the value of a meaningful follow up.
I’m thankful and grateful for incredible role models, friendly community support, and the means to fulfill my ambitions. It’s all possible because my parents provided me with a strong foundation of health, deductive reasoning, and moral values.
Thank you, Mom and Dad. I love you both and you are still teaching me life lessons.
A Special Thank You to my wife. Thank you for giving me the best birthday present and putting up with my loud sneezes.
So How did I do?
Not to gloat, but Pretty damn proud of myself. My 30 under 30 and the accompanied blogposts are all updated with their results and lessons learned. I might have missed the mark on some languages and plane flying, but I feel mighty accomplished with this blog, my book, and the stories I tell daily about these adventures.
What would I do differently?
When I reflected on my quarter life crisis, I was a bit of a drama queen. These age numbers and expectations were fairly arbitrary and generally driven on fear of wasting a blessing. I think I’d relax a bit more and worked on the things I felt really inspired by. I wish I created my own YouTube channel when PhillyD did and started a community of people who would listen.
There’s still much personal growth in my life, but I think I’ve ignored a key puzzle piece with 1) community and 2) asking for help. There’s an innate sense of altruism that gets muddied with business and vested interests. I think humility in asking for joint collaboration will be the crux of my upcoming challenges. I clearly need a challenge, so challenge accepted.
Whether it be leading a team to success or eventually being a loving father, I am excited to continue on this journey – wherever it will take me – wherever it will take us.
~See Lemons Turn 30
Random Observation/Comment #562: I almost forgot the joy of just sitting down with a pen and drawing what’s on my mind – I highly recommend this challenge.
Why this Challenge?
I can draw one good line at a time, gauge perspectives, scale sizes well, and be patient with results. However, one of my all time goals is to be able to sit at a bar and draw something amazing on a napkin on the spot. I want someone to give me a subject and story, and then I can draw them a scene from it. Why? Because it’s cool and it’s on my 30 before 30. Why not?
What did you Draw?
The way I approached this challenge was less structured than my others. I first randomly started from watching Planet Earth with hump back whales. I decided to draw one in a cartoon form with the closest writing utensil at reach (a ball point pen).
The result wasn’t terrible, but I found value in 1) not copying from an existing drawing, 2) using a permanent and easily-bleeding writing utensil, and 3) keeping a simple creative structure.
My next drawing was of Henry (of course), but I started adding the environment and a few accessories to the piece. This lead me to asking Vinessa for advice on what to draw next. A koala bear dancing ballet in a tutu:
The pattern I liked in this challenges evolution was setting a structure:
- With accessory
- Wearing special outfit
- In environment
- Related to something from that day
Here’s a few samples:
From Zurich’s street parade, I drew a lion DJing:
From a wine festival, I drew a seahorse scene drinking a glass of wine:
From Vinessa, I drew a karrot karaoke knight:
From Crater Lake National Park, a Shell-fie
From watching Zootopia on the plane and starting the roadtrip, a sloth driving a racecar:
One of my personal favorites, a flamingo on a tightrope:
From the cruise’s first night, a polar bear cooking tepanyaki:
This, too, didn’t last very long because I ran out of animals I knew how to draw. Instead, it involved into something more or less random about the day. I’d draw something from a scene or funny part, and it always took a path of its own. Ever since August 8th, I’ve been drawing on a daily basis and really enjoying myself.
Here’s a few more notable ones:
From the cruise’s honeymoon package of chocolate covered Strawberries:
From Alaska, a king crab eating a soldier:
From drinking all day at the wine tasting:
From flying to Heathrow after a long honeymoon trip:
From the first presidential debate:
From our 1 year anniversary:
From random nights and knitting hobbies:
From our secret blockchain project:
From a random fun weekend:
And my personal favorite, when Vinessa got a haircut and dyed her hair black:
From 30 day challenge to 90+ day adventure onward!
I really love this as a part of my habits, and specifically as a wind down mechanism for going to bed early. It keeps devices out of the bedroom and gives me more creativity than just writing. On my ideal night, I’d be in bed by 10:45PM with my pen and notebook to sketch something from the day. This has definitely continued and become part of my day! Maybe I’ll even have a separate blog section, blogpost, or instagram feed for these.
I highly recommend this challege to anyone and everyone. Even if you can’t draw, you only get better when you try.
~See Lemons Love Drawing
Random Observation/Comment #560: Honeymoon Roadtrip was the best choice ever. A lot of car tunes, audiobooks, podcasts, and funny discussions that brought us closer.
Things Pacific Northwest Does Well
- Pure nature bliss – National parks are sprinkled throughout this magical place.
- Clouds – When you get the non-rainy ones, they’re really something #cloudporn
- Hospitality – Super friendly people with a lot of smiles. It was easy to strike up a conversation. People were eager to share their favorite trails or places to eat.
- Scenic byways – The 101 drive was mind blowing. Driving through national parks is a new favorite tourist activity.
- Little to no traffic and great parking – Despite visiting during peak season, there were no issues with parking (even in Portland).
- Local IPAs – Consistently a great choice. A must for IPA lovers.
- Pour over coffees – These are the real deal coffee shops that brew coffee for the single serving. Stumptown is based here and didn’t disappoint.
- Doughnuts – What Oregon lacks in bagels, they make up for in doughnuts (mini doughnuts are a must)
- Drive through coffee spots – Ubiquitous across the Oregon “highways.” They are all so sloooow. Undeniably slower than regular coffee places. Not sure how they deal with rush hour. Bonus points for the cute themes and accessibility. Vinessa accidentally chose a bikini themed one …awkward.
- Pinot Noir – The climate of Willamette Valley makes for delicious grapes and flourishes beautifully. These rival their more famous California neighbors in Sonoma.
Things Pacific Northwest Can Improve
- Diversity – We noticed the majority of people we came across were either Asian or white, and found ourselves missing the diversity from back home.
- Mixed food scenes – Perhaps we had too high of expectations, but we found the average place in Oregon was meh and the good places were swarming with lines. Oregon wine country and Seattle saved the day.
- Homeless population in Portland – This is by no means singular to Oregon, but was particularly noticeable in Portland. Heartbreaking.
- Employment – Job opportunities appear to be very limited (unless you want to sell yoga accessories).
So, how does the Pacific Northwest stack up? We loved the laid back energy and flannel. If it didn’t freeze over the winter, we’d consider moving here.
Our Roadtrip Approach
Roadtrips are fun because the road becomes your guide. You are led by your adventure. We only booked 3 nights of our 8:
- night of arrival near the Portland airport,
- Abbey Road Farmhouse for our wine excursion, and
- night in Seattle before the cruise.
Everything else was basically picking random Airbnbs the morning of. Most Airbnbs were happy to rent on a weekday and had a fairly self-sustaining method of picking up and dropping off keys. Landmarks were mainly discovered by asking the wait staff at restaurants. It worked out pretty well. Plus, it keeps things spontaneous.
We started driving east to Mount Hood, then south to Crater Lake National Park/Bend, next to the Redwoods, then north up 101 to Willamette Valley, with the final leg towards Washington through Mount St. Helens. Whew
Friday – The necessary day
Overnight at an airport hotel
Saturday – Let’s be tourists in Portland for a day.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters – Conveniently located near Voodoo Doughnuts. Grabbed a cup to keep us company on line. It is also served pretty much everywhere.
Voodoo Doughnuts – Informing Oregonians of our visit immediately prompted eye rolls but this staple is a cute introduction to the doughnut scene.
Walked to Saturday market by the water front – We lucked out with perfect weather so had fun checking out the local vendor scene.
Drove to Multnomah Falls and then hiked to the top through the switchbacks – This is a major hike for a limited view of the falls.
Drove to our Airbnb, a house on a stick
Saw the sunset from the top (note that you can drive here and you don’t need to hike up like we did)
Baan-Thai – Decent local Thai place
Wine and relaxing
Sunday – Mount Hood and Sheepwagon, aka, Clemens and Vinessa barely escape being attached by evil deer
Woke up to pink sunrise
Drove from South Portland to Breakfast halfway by Trout
Mount Hood hike
Timberline Lodge – Hit the bar for a drink and lunch
Shaniko ghost town – The ice cream shop is still open and decent. Grab a cone and explore.
Crazy drive in the middle of nowhere
Dinner in The Porch (Sisters, OR) – great sweet potato strips like bacon
Stayed near Sisters in a sheepwagon – a bit too remote for us
Monday – Crater Lake National Park day
Breakfast at the Breakfast Club in Bend – Get your dose of Portland pancakes
Crater Lake National Park – Amazing park. Wish we could have spent even more time there.
Random stops along the East Rim
Stayed in Crater Lake area by Chiloquin at an A-frame house with some great VHS movies
Tuesday – Beautiful 101 drive and Redwood National Park
Breakfast on the road
Drive to the Redwoods
Stout Grove trailhead for Redwoods
Beautiful beach stops
Secret Beach – You can only walk out during low tide
Got Chinese take-out (because why not?)
Stayed in Eugene in a tiny house / studio cottage in great part of town
Wednesday – Continuing our drive through national forests. Pregaming for wine tour day.
Wake up to some flowers and a great little studio in the backyard
Breakfast at Studio One cafe – Get your fill of Oregon pancakes
Drive towards Florence to get to the 101
Drive through Heceta Head Lighthouse
Brief stop at Flounder Inn Tavern
Drive through national forest towards McMinnville
Left Coast Cellars tasting – white pinot. On Sundays they serve pizza.
R Stuart & Co Wine Bar – Elegant and cozy
Thistle – Farm-to-fork goodness and drink some cocktails
Staying near Carlton in a fairly large house next to the farm – we loved the old school record player
Thursday – Oregon Wine Tour
Breakfast at Community Plate
Wine tour with Oregon Wine Tours – Ron was a great guide who taught us so much about Oregon pinot
WillaKenzie Estate – great pinot noir
Lemelson Vineyards – decent grapes
Lunch at Subterra
Owen Roe – great selections and knowledge staff
Caravan Coffee – pour over specialty
Lenne great wine and chat with Rob
Stayed at Abbey Road Farmhouse BNB – yes, those are old silos converted to bedroom suites
Dinner at Agrivino – Farm-to-table Italian food paired with Italian wine
Friday – Towards Washington with a stop in Ape Cave
Bed and breakfast delicious breakfast
Drive through Oregon into Washington
Portland for Pips Original Doughnuts – Best mini-doughnuts ever. Also try the Chai.
Ape Cave – Spooky but worth it. For $5, rent an old school lamp at the visitor center.
Chinese restaurant in Kalama (because someone said this was the best place in town) – it may have been, but Clemens is a Chinese restaurant snob.
Drive to Olympia staying in University Place Airbnb – one of the best Airbnbs we’ve stayed in (below is the view from our room)
Saturday – Last day of roadtrip
Brunch in Tacoma at Renaissance Cafe
Drive to Seattle – fairly easy since we were staying an hour away
Explore Seattle walking around Pike Place – tried to avoid the crowd
Seattle Great Wheel – touristy, but not a bad way to spend an hour
Antique stores – a few places to poke around while walking towards the public market
Public market flowers – $5 is a pretty good deal. Happy anniversary!
Lunch at Hudson – a little place out of the way, but we had a car
Visited a few malls to buy stuff
Dinner at the Cheesecake Factory – It was that or wait over 2 hours somewhere else. That being said, super tasty comfort food is always a roadtrip special meal.
Stayed in Bellevue coast hotel – we would have rather stay closer to the city, but this worked out pretty well.
Sunday – #cruiselife
Say goodbye to our car, Buckley.
Walk around pier 66
Sunday (1 week later) – #FatCruiseLife
Disembark cruise 10lbs heavier 🙁
Drop off bags at Concierge of the cruise ($3 per piece up to 3:30pm) – if you go to the airport and drop it off to come back for a full day, it would have been $19 for 2 hours. Airport robbery.
Biscuit Bitch – get the “gritty scrambled cheesy bitch” – nom nom nom
Chihuly Garden & Glass – Buy a package ticket to save wait time at the Space Needle. All the reviews say to go here for a reason. A great place for a date, if you ask me.
Seattle Needle – A bit expensive for a hit/miss view, but have fun at the top with their fancy timelapse screens that records photos every 10 minutes of every day.
Hawaiian cultural week festival
Drink at Cyclops
Hawaiian lunch at ‘Ohana – Eat all the Poke and Spam Masubi
Bought coffee and beans at Cherry Street Coffee House
Walk around and enjoy the rare sunny Seattle afternoon
Arrive to airport early to write this blogpost
~See Lemons Love Roadtripping Honeymoon with Vnessawithaneye
Random Observation/Comment #559: Work towards something bigger, something broader, and something that involves more people. Community makes things better and stronger.
Achievements sometimes happen without planning, but sometimes they need a bit of intention and definition. I’ve been sneaking “what is your greatest personal accomplishment?” into conversations in order to get a sense of what people are most proud of about their hard work. After a bit of analysis and mapping, I’ve found a few interesting bits.
- Portfolio – Combination of bests
- Competition – Some type of a comparison of head-to-head where you can be recognized for being better and winning something
- Milestone – This includes packaged material of completed work like a book or album
- Hobby to money maker / entrepreneurship – Converting something that you enjoy doing into a service or product someone else wants to purchase.
- Learning a new skill – Going out of one’s comfort zone and learning something because it’s cool is a huge accomplishment. Don’t knock it until you try it.
- Mastering a skill – Being able to do this one thing relatively better than the average person because you’ve spent the time trying
- Experiences – Collection of these under a theme could be considered an achievement that requires dedication and work
- Giving of life – Nourishing a growing /living thing is pretty incredible
The Medium of your achievement provides you with some guidance of starting or continuing your journey. Here are a few examples following those mediums.
- Drawing book – A continual project of drawing things and improvement
- Blog – Series of posts about a subject that accumulates into your brand of opinions. This can be career related on your linked in posts or just a separate site
- Book – One subject from different angles with a structure that best expresses those ideas
- Screenplay – A manuscript of ideas put together with creative writing
- Music – Mashing together some songs or recording yourself singing a song
- Physical – Yoga for a year or becoming an instructor. Running a marathon or completing a physical challenge of sorts
- Sports – Being able to play something above normal and having fun in the meantime. Playing with friends and making friends in the process
- Photography – Putting together a portfolio of your best work or getting to the point where you can make money by selling a photo
- Starting a company – Structure of creating a service someone else wants and automating the operations so it can be sustainable and strategic
- 30 day challenge – Complete an epic one that finishes all your side projects or starts new ones
- Coding – Building an app or website isn’t that difficult. I’m sure you can follow a few tutorials and do this within a few months. Apps are great because you can use them for yourself
- Travel to x countries or y continents – I find this one to be the most fun because it involves a hobby that most people take for granted. Leaving one’s home and stepping into a new culture is usually very difficult. Hopefully these travels contribute to other achievements like photos or blogging.
- Collection of stamps – I know some people are very proud of attaining rare pieces which take a lot of work and research.
- Organizing an epic event – “I threw a 50th anniversary party for my parents in Croatia” could be a really incredible accomplishment showing commitment, thoughtfulness, and dedication towards others.
These examples are fairly broad, but you can imagine your own relevant milestones or activities you wish you could recognize as an accomplishment.
It’s important to:
- Limit scope – don’t try to do too many things at once. It’s okay to just do one for 2 months and switch rather than 3 at a time for 6 months. Focus!
- Temper ambitions – these things take time. Like getting a new job, there are steps towards mastering skills and building work
- Tie it to existing things – you don’t need to start from scratch. Try to tie things to your existing skill set
- Know it’s not for the recognition – it’s for you and a compass for how to spend your free time.
- Understand you won’t be the best at it – and that’s okay because there’s always someone better and life is more fun when it’s not a competition.
- You are your own motivation – I stayed away from anything that included money because most people go to work because the company pays them. Not many people get paid from not being able to run a marathon into a top 100 runner.
- Set up your discipline and routine – motivation is fleeting, but discipline gets things done. If you are really passionate about this, you will find time to do it.
- Appreciate the journey – put yourself into the struggle of gaining discipline and learning the lessons the hard way. You’ll build character and appreciate your reward much more.
~See Lemons Do More
Random Observation/Comment #552: I miss the simplicity of cafeterias at school. Who am I kidding – my mom packed lunch for me. Can I get on that meal plan again?
At the end of April 2016, my colleague introduced me to Mealpass. Naturally, I signed up immediately and decided to make a 30 day challenge out of it and see how much money I saved (and at what hidden cost).
What is it?
The best way to describe it is “Classpass for food” with a few small details:
- Only a limited number of restaurants in Midtown and Flatiron offer daily selections
- Each participating restaurant can choose whichever dish they’d like to offer
- You must choose/reserve your meal between 7pm and 9:30am the day before
- Mealpass only works on weekdays for exactly 30 days (not month date to month date)
If I were to use this mealpass for what it’s worth, I needed to be regiment on booking meals and commit to eating what I booked for all weekdays. Of course, I had to collect data on this. First things first: create a Google Form that I could fill out every time I had a meal. This captured:
I used the google sheets output to help me run a few interesting statistics:
- Initial Cost per month: $120
- Number of Meals: 17
- Average Price per Meal: $7.06
- Normal Price of Meals (Sum): $161.50
- Average Normal Price per Meal: $9.50
- Total Savings: $41.50
- Discount savings per Meal: 25.70%
- Average size of Food: Medium-Big
- Order again percentage: 58.82%
- “Awesome” percentage: 47.06%
Does it work? Would you Recommend it?
Here’s what I liked:
- It was pretty convenient skipping the line and picking up food
- There were some pretty awesome deals of lunch that are normally $12+ (e.g. Reichenbach Hall and Japas 38)
- Selection is actually pretty decent for working on 37th and Broadway (but pretty crap everywhere else)
- Great conversation starter. I don’t mind talking about mealpass and its benefits.
Here’s what I didn’t:
- Weekly repetitive meals. I got used to the menu and didn’t want to have anything that was too far of a walk away.
- Ordering the day before. I lost a lot of my spontaneity, but at the same time I didn’t have to think about lunch because I already made the decision. Some good and some bad there.
- Eating at my desk. Because it’s all food to-go, I did a lot more eating at my desk than I wanted to. Luckily, I had someone else who was getting mealpass so we went to pick up our food together.
- Guilt of not using mealpass. This was a big one. it’s that “gym phenomenon” of getting my moneys worth and then winding up missing out anyway. I felt more guilty buying food on top of the cost I’ve paid because technically I’m already paying a flat fee per weekday I don’t use the service.
- Less money saved from leftovers. As a person that likes to cook a lot, I think I saved the same amount of money just bringing leftovers from dinner. In fact, I may have wasted food for not bringing those leftovers to work.
- Crappy credit card and money management. In the whole payment transaction process, I was not told how much I would be charged for this service to my credit card and I was not able to cancel without a lengthy email with the title “CANCEL MY SUBSCRIPTION” and a phone call. It was then that I realized that it’s only 30 days instead of month-to-month distinctions, so I needed to pay a separate make-up fee for the meals that went over (I did not include these meals or extra fee in this 30 day analysis)
It was worth the 30 day challenge to save a few bucks, but I did not renew (plus I do not intend to in the future). I really love eating with coworkers and choosing my food destiny with spontaneity, but I also think this might be a fun experiment for some people who live in the area.
~See Lemons Back to Regular Lunch
Random Observation/Comment #547: Life is a multi-player game.
Challenge Set Up
Complete a different action every weekday for as many days as possible. I posted these on FB as Actions of the Day (AotD) and encourage others to complete the action as well.
Why This Challenge?
Before I learned about micro-resolutions and the you-app, I felt a little slump in my routine – it was like I wasn’t completing anything important for the day. Progress felt slow and also insignificant. I think I was working so closely towards a larger goal that I forgot about all the fun smaller goals along the way. Each day, I wrote a simple action that I could complete and looked to maintain these smaller actions throughout my regular schedule.
- AotD #1: Take 5 minutes and stretch – I was able to continue doing this throughout the week
- AotD #2: Plan 3 things you will get done today and Visualize them being done. Make these tasks realistic.
- AotD #3: Plan a trip you can take in one month
- AotD #4: Read up about a cool new technology topic – I suggest blockchain
- AotD #5: Take a photo with a friend
- AotD #6: Find 3 things in common with a stranger at your next networking event
- AotD #7: Write a journal entry with 3 things you loved about the day
- AotD #8: Take a different commute route to work
- AotD #9: it’s getting cold out. Donate those clothes you don’t wear anymore
- AotD #10: Find a new place to eat for lunch. I suggest Frank’s bbq.
- AotD #11: Contact someone you haven’t spoken to in 3 months
- AotD #12: Write down your Most Important Things. What is this?
- AotD #13: Listen to a new podcast during your commute to work
- AotD #14: Try a new scotch (if you’re into that type of thing)
- AotD #15: Cancel your plans (take a sick day or don’t go to that networking event). You’ve been doing great and need to focus on decompressing today.
- AotD #16: Send a postcard to someone
- AotD #17: Buy your parents a gift and send it to them with a note.
- AotD #18: Share one of your friend’s accomplishments.
- AotD #19: Write a recap and reflection of 2015.
- AotD #21: Don’t eat meat today. Why? It’s good to take a break.
- AotD #20: if you haven’t already, call your parents and tell them you love them
- AotD #22: Learn a new vocabulary word and use it as much as you can in conversation.
- AotD #23: Find out what you can organize in your apartment/house and do it. I threw out all my mismatched socks.
- AotD #24: Write down all the things that stress you out. What’s on your mind and what can you do about them?
- AotD #25: Update your wish list. This is a list of purchases or goals that you’re aiming towards. Maybe you’re saving money to get that new coat or vacation days for that upcoming trip.
- AotD #26: Unsubscribe to email lists you wind up just archiving. If you haven’t opened and learning from one in the past 2 weeks, you don’t need it.
- AotD #27: Surprise your significant other with an experiential gift. This could be a massage or dinner out.
- AotD #28: Plan your 2016 new years resolutions (and how you’ll keep them)
- AotD #29: Write a thank you letter/card to someone at work or at home.
- AotD #30: Write down all the promises you made and try to keep them
- AotD #31: Make a happiness jar and place those Random happy thoughts in there daily. Try to make it a physical jar with handwritten notes. Good memories take 40 seconds to imprint into long term smiles.
- AotD #32: Think about death and being more present. What really matters to you and what micro decisions do you make about time management?
- AotD #33: Plan a curriculum for your self improvement.
- AotD #34: Find a reason to give a high five today and give one to someone. High five!
- AotD #35: Listen to your favorite song. Why is it your favorite? What made it your favorite? When did you last hear it?
- AotD #36: Make plans with someone and actually keep them. See you at spin at noon, tt addicts.
- AotD #37: Sing a song in the shower. Maybe it’s your favorite song. Hopefully it’s bohemian rhapsody.
- AotD #38: Don’t bring your headphones today. Look around and observe.
- AotD #39: Ask for help from a friend. It’s better to be clear about what you’re looking to accomplish and then complete it together #cocreate
- AotD #40: Tweak your routine with experiments. Move all the essentials you need to leave in one place (wallet, keys, metrocard, hat, gloves, backpack, etc) within 5 feet of each other.
- AotD #41: Check up on those new years resolutions. Are you closer with creating positive habits?
- AotD #42: Introduce some spontaneity and randomness to look for improvements in efficiency.
- AotD #43: Learn deeper about your most passionate subject. Befriend someone who also shares this passion.
- AotD #44: Simplify your fashion style. Remove the number of clothing permutations and focus on outfits for occasion.
- AotD #45: Don’t just be a spectator, be a participant. If you ask, your help is usually welcomed.
- AotD #46: Write your new micro resolutions for a new month.
- AotD #47: Take a nap and start over. The day can always restart.
- AotD #48: Fight for your right to party
- AotD #49: Don’t be the first to complain about anything today. You are the still pond reflecting positive energy.
- AotD #50: Ask a silly question. “Why did they make a highway to the danger zone?”
- AotD #51: Fold origami. It’s really relaxing.
The challenge ended arbitrarily, but it has not been forgotten. I think I liked the Questions of the Day a little bit better because it encouraged more interaction and a simpler response. In the long run, I do feel like there have been some great habits that formed from reflecting on my vision of success for the day. The small actions truly do make big changes.
~See Lemons Stay Active
Random Observation/Comment #544: I miss nap time. Grown ups need to take nap time more seriously.
Why this list?
In the process of “growing up” and “finding your way”, a lot of the great habits that primary school teaches you tends to go unnoticed (and in some cases completely unlearned). Unfortunately, you don’t have a guidance counselor or home room teacher after you leave the nest. There aren’t set times where you sit down and work on something important to your growth. Instead? You cram everything into one notebook, read the news for conversation fodder, watch Netflix way too much, and drink constantly. When left to our own vices, do we all stray from productivity?
How to write this list:
Take a trip through memory lane and remember how simple life was without bills and instant gratification in your pocket. What were your goals? What did you do? How did the structure help? For example, I used to color-code my binders and create separate sections in a very organized way. Now? One notebook with chicken scratch short hand. It took some time to make the connection of these good habits to reality, but once you do, everything runs slightly more smoothly.
- Content organization – 3 ring binders with color coded separations of subjects
- Fairly structured categories of subjects that we should learn to be well-rounded
- Legible handwriting with handwriting practice
- A focus on at most 7 subjects per 3 months
- Spring and Winter recesses with summers off (time to unwind)
- Planned learning objectives by end of 3 months
- Scheduled time per day to work on core courses
- Scheduled time to work out with peers (yay gym class)
- Scheduled time to get some fresh air and just run around to let that energy out
- Scheduled time with experts in the field (at least they’ve taught this class more than once)
- Scheduled learning environment with peers
- Scheduled homework reinforcement to test knowledge of given material
- After school activities that gather like-minded people
- A balanced diet across the week (I currently eat breakfast every meal and want to eat tacos all the time)
- Opportunities for leadership roles
- Realistic enforcement of rules and guidelines without terrible consequences
- Timeboxed projects with presentations to parents at the end so they can be proud of your work and stay involved with your growth
- Networking opportunity with those who have taken similar subjects
- Opportunities/Forced to socialize with peers in a cafeteria (e.g. no eating at your desk with your work!)
- Freedom to set up your own curriculum of classes and get the “best schedule” (this was more from high school when I had 3 periods off in a row during lunch) – why don’t people do this more now?
- Nap time (from kindergarten and 12th grade)
- Book reports and reading challenges (I remember reading more frequently to get those 50 books in one year)
- Analysis of current events
- Mandatory music, art, and language classes
- Constant movement and travel between classes – I think some people in a 9 to 5 sit in front of monitors for too long
- Healthy amount of group assignments
- A looming consequence of actions and surveillance of behavior – Always being graded (yay gold stars!)
- Encouragement to ask questions and raise hands before speaking
- Playfulness even with most seriousness
- No meetings
~See Lemons Miss School Organization
Random Observation/Comment #543: Being a local to me means being in a loving community.
The TT Addicts gathered at the usual happy hour Friday night for some competitive exercise and $4 beers. Harpoon IPAs, Radeburgers, Heffeweisens, Heineken lights, and beer with Sprite flowed generously for hours. Our drink preferences were acknowledged with eye contact, a head nod, and a huge smile. Chit chat with the bartenders and waitresses livened the atmosphere while trash talk about the upcoming TT matches were snuck in there whenever possible.
It was around beer 3 when we all felt that same feeling that can only be embodied by the love of the game, the love of the establishment, and the love of our friends. Five years of seeing Spin change from the casual orange and teal to the sleek gold and black. Five years of secret TT training to get the perfect backhand banana flip. Five years of growing closer to the awesome staff, coaches, and regulars. We have truly found our Cheers.
Table tennis is the perfect mix of mental analysis, personal development, physical exercise, and socialization (and alcohol). I am addicted and it is truly a part of my life – so much so that I even added it to my vows. However, the love of the sport is not the only reason I keep returning specifically to Spin. I go for the activity… I stay because of the family.
Remember: If you want to go far, Go Together.
Also: It’s better to do it together than it is to do it alone.
~See Lemons Love Spin