Category Archives: #iamgrateful #iamthankful

DIGITS or LOCKING IN HAPPY AND PROUD

I made today a numbers day. I woke up with a feeling. It’s been an intense week. Honestly, it’s been intense for way longer but the past week I’ve taken strides toward fixing my state of mind, my mental approach, my framework for thinking, processing, reacting.

It’s been an intense week.

Just like anything else, it’s amazing what a few deliberate, committed steps can do around creating momentum and accelerating you into progress. Try going vegan for a week. Try not drinking for a week. Try breathing before every response for a week. Try no TV for a week. Try reading every day for a week.

It’s amazing what a week can do.

It’s been an intense week. In the best possible way. And today I woke up with a feeling. So I leaned into that feeling.

I knew today was a day I was going to lock in what made me Happy, what made me Proud, and set the stage for tomorrow, thinking about where I’m Not Yet Satisfied so I can find new achievements, states of mind, I want to pursue.

Sometimes what I’m happy about and what I’m proud of, are feelings.

Today, they are digits.

1.

It wasn’t today, but of all the numbers, “1” and “first” are where things should begin. I became a Kaka for the first time. To the child of the boy who was the first human being I know from day one. There’s something powerful; about seeing the first child I remember holding in my arms, holding his first child in his arms. That I’ll never shake. There’s no digit more important than this digit. But there are more digits.

2.

I’m excited about the progress I’m making on my storytelling project. Helping people unearth, frame and share their authentic stories. Yesterday, I posted my second testimonial; my second bit of evidence about the approach I’ve taken to help people gain confidence and bring their stories to life. It was humbling.

$1 million.

I woke up and in my first work meeting I found out we hit $1mm in monthly revenue in April. That’s 3x growth in the past year. That’s a little under double from December. It’s incredible. Given what we’ve faced the past year I view this, plain and simple, as one of my best efforts at work. I find tremendous happiness, and take tremendous pride in knowing the role I played in organizing, aligning, motivating, inspiring, and compelling our team to make this happen.

30.

Today I started reading book 30 for the year. I’ve read 29 books in 2021. Of all sorts, sizes, shapes, lengths, formats, genres. Today, I started reading book 30. I picked The Razor’s Edge because 25 years ago almost to the day, a friend and then roommate to be told me that in Maugham’s book, he saw me reflected in the main character. To this day, I still don’t know how to process that feedback. I’ve read the book once, at his first reference. I’m reading it again now as I turn the page on 45 and the past year — the healthiest of my life in so many ways — because I’m eager to see if this still holds up. Or if that insight into me 25 years ago was prophetic, showed a deeper understanding of me then than I have even now. Book 30.

26.2.

Miles. That’s a marathon. I’ve tried to prep for 5ks, 10ks, 1/2 marathons a few times over. Every time I try, I get hurt. Plantar fasciitis. ACLs. MCLs. Groins. You name it. The past 6 months I haven’t walked with a number in mind, I’ve walked with a spirit in mind: get healthier. The most I’ve done in a day is 18 miles and that happened because I couldn’t sleep so I watched a movie and walked starting at 2am.

Today wasn’t that. Today, I started walking with my first call at 8:30am. And then, I just didn’t stop. It was 10:30am and I was at 10.5 miles. Then I spoke it into existence.

I said out loud to the person I was on the phone with “I think I want to walk 26.2 miles today. I want to do my first marathon.”

And then, I kept repeating it. It wasn’t a straight through walk. Life, work, forced some pauses. But with the kids asleep at 8:15pm I had 9 miles left to go. So I hopped on the treadmill, work documents ready to go, got after it.

At a 5-5.5 MPH pace, I finished at 9:40pm ET. My first “marathon”. And I’m confident I’m one of the only people to pull off 26.2 miles in one day, while working. (Note: I did watch 45 minutes of Point Break for the end of that walk.)

46.

It’s coming around. 46 is two weeks away. I used to wait for important days to lock in milestones.

“I’ll make that resolution on January 1st.”

“I’ll change that behavior on my birthday.”

Today I realized that I would walk a marathon for no other reason than it was Thursday.

And I f*cking wanted to.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for digits. For numbers. For happiness and pride providing fuel that made yesterday one of the most accomplished days of my life, holistically.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful that I remembered to write it down and to lock it in.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for my framework; for my mantra around being “Happy. Proud. Not Yet Satisfied.” because it’s a reminder to remember what’s important (happy), it’s a reminder to remember what we’ve achieved (proud), and it’s a reminder to remember — I ain’t through (Not Yet Satisfied).

L
F
G

Leave a comment

Filed under #iamgrateful #iamthankful

167 or MY LOWEST WEIGHT AS AN ADULT

I don’t know how else to frame this: but today, I’m officially the lowest weight I’ve been in my adult life (after college). I’ve hit 167 before. Most recently while living in Charlotte. In 2010.

It’s an amazing feeling on the health side. I dropped 27.5 lbs in a year.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for what the past few months have made possible for my physical health. I think some of these habits will stay with me forever (some may just be more modest or tempered).

Vegan.
Dry.
Daily exercise.
Intermittent Fasting.

The best part? There are still a bunch of habits I can break (sugar); and I’ve got some things holding me back which should be resolved over the next 5 weeks.

It’s kind of funny that I lost 27.5 lbs and I look at myself and still see so much stuff to work on. Tells you how far off of healthy I was to start.

Happy. Proud. Not yet satisfied.

I’m going to use the next few days to reflect a bit. And then set some goals for the next quarter. New goals, requiring new habits, that stack upon the positive habits that got me here.

Leave a comment

Filed under #iamgrateful #iamthankful

HOOPS or BILL BRADLEY

Few things more fun than taking on Bill Bradley in a fun solo game of hoops. I love that we got this hoop up. And I love the days when I drop the kids off and get 20 minutes to just shoot around on a quiet morning.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful especially for the walkers and neighbors who all have a joke to crack about my old @ss shooting hoops!

First shot was rough. Rim was generous. Ended up playing three games agains Bill and winning 2-1. If you don’t know the game, lmk. Takes shooting hoops by yourself to the next level (fun, challenging, exercise).

Leave a comment

Filed under #iamgrateful #iamthankful

7 AND A HALF or EROTIC CITY AND PRINCE

Something, someone, took me through a Prince run the past 24 hours. And I’ll tell you, #iamgrateful and #iamthankful for it.

Never heard this dance version, teased out to 7:30.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbmGM_r_sc4

You know a song is great when you wrote it in one fell swoop after watching Parliament Funkadelic, and to return the favor, the great George Clinton covers it back. (Also, a dope version).

Leave a comment

Filed under #iamgrateful #iamthankful

A LITERARY JOURNEY or I MISS THIS ROOM

When we moved into Jersey City we had reserved the downstairs bedroom for our first kid. I had an image in my head of where I wanted to take it and with some vision, with a Craigs List illustrator to help bring it to life, we created this scene across two walls in the bedroom — weaving a path through my favorite stories as a child and ultimately, through what became Anaiya (and later Jaanu’s) favorite stories as well.

I miss this room. I loved going into it. Every night before Anaiya went to bed she’d say goodnight to each character and it’s those kinds of rituals that I’ll never forget.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful we were able to have fun and bring this to life; and I love that we brought that same energy to our new house.

I hope when the kids see rooms and walls, they’re inspiration around what they can turn a space into is open and unconstrained. Every wall you see every space you see, is truly a canvas as long as you ask the most powerful question … how?

Love FB for bringing this room back to me today. I needed the dose of inspiration and a reminder of the energy that was.

Leave a comment

Filed under #iamgrateful #iamthankful

RUMI or THE WOUND THE LIGHT THE HEART THE SKY

Today, in honor, I share two quotes from Rumi specifically, who I spent a lot of time with last night inspired by a young mind and heart.

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”

“Only from the heart can you touch the sky.

”Cancer. Blood disorders. Affect us all greatly.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for the example set by those facing, fighting daily. You are the best of us.

Sending love to so many.

Too many.

We all know Rumi. We’ve all seen his quotes. Last night I found myself reading about him. Learning about him. Privileged. Wealthy. Migrant. Refugee. Preacher. Writer. Student.

What resonated with me most was how he instructed his followers to treat his death like a joyous wedding night. Life should be celebrated always. Especially, I feel, when it is gone.

Thank you for pointing me to Rumi, yesterday, LO.

Leave a comment

Filed under #iamgrateful #iamthankful

FORKS UP or CELEBRATING YOUR LIFE, MASA

The most prominent single moment of the pandemic for me will be hearing from my cousins and my Masi, the woman who outside of my mom, defined mom for me since birth, that my Masa was sick, being put into comfort care, and then, died. A year ago today.

Masa was always around but also, never in the way. It’s amazing. He made his way to India for my fathers death, he was in San Francisco when my Fua died. He found his way to so many places while always finding his way out of the way.

Which is why his service is so memorable to me; because he found a way to get us all together as a family, a few times, while also not “being in the way” — no burdens.

When someone dies, I promised myself when I was a little kid — we all make these promises to ourselves as kids and as kids most of them are forgotten in seconds but this one, stuck with me — to carry a part of that person forward (the first person I remember losing to death was my Kaka, and I was so young, I remember mostly the dope blue bike he gave me and the fact that he’d promised his car to my sisters when they were of age, so I tried to do those two things, give gifts and save cars).

For Masa, I am trying to remember how in the chaos of the world he made sure to create cocoons and safe spaces for the kids. When the noise and chaos of families tried to swallow everyone and migrate left, Masa grabbed some kids and took a walk heading right.

#iamgrateful and #iamthsnkful for that lesson, Masa.

I am still haunted by how I haven’t given my Masi, Chanda, Oowaj, Megan, Miles and baby to be a hug yet; that’s just on pause as you all are the first trip we make when trip making becomes a thing again.

Forks up, y’all. Forks up.

Leave a comment

Filed under #iamgrateful #iamthankful

FORKS UP or CELEBRATING YOUR LIFE, MASA

The most prominent single moment of the pandemic for me will be hearing from my cousins and my Masi, the woman who outside of my mom, defined mom for me since birth, that my Masa was sick, being put into comfort care, and then, died. A year ago today.

Masa was always around but also, never in the way. It’s amazing. He made his way to India for my fathers death, he was in San Francisco when my Fua died. He found his way to so many places while always finding his way out of the way.

Which is why his service is so memorable to me; because he found a way to get us all together as a family, a few times, while also not “being in the way” — no burdens.

When someone dies, I promised myself when I was a little kid — we all make these promises to ourselves as kids and as kids most of them are forgotten in seconds but this one, stuck with me — to carry a part of that person forward (the first person I remember losing to death was my Kaka, and I was so young, I remember mostly the dope blue bike he gave me and the fact that he’d promised his car to my sisters when they were of age, so I tried to do those two things, give gifts and save cars).

For Masa, I am trying to remember how in the chaos of the world he made sure to create cocoons and safe spaces for the kids. When the noise and chaos of families tried to swallow everyone and migrate left, Masa grabbed some kids and took a walk heading right.

#iamgrateful and #iamthsnkful for that lesson, Masa.

I am still haunted by how I haven’t given my Masi, Chanda, Oowaj, Megan, Miles and baby to be a hug yet; that’s just on pause as you all are the first trip we make when trip making becomes a thing again.

Forks up, y’all. Forks up.

Leave a comment

Filed under #iamgrateful #iamthankful

SYMBOLS, SYMBOLIC or “WHERE CAN WE GET HAND SANITIZER”:

When we think back on March of last year lots of things come to mind. One of the most powerful symbols, outside of a lifetime of toilet paper anxiety, will be hand sanitizer.

We got this jug delivered a year ago. At the time I wasn’t sure how long it would carry us. So I bought materials to make disinfecting sprays for various surfaces and things we’d use around and in the house as well.

We were lucky.

Today, the jug is tapped. A symbol of the last year. And symbolic timing for it to run out.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful we got our hands on this and … we got this on our hands. We lugged this thing everywhere and even left it out for delivery folks, neighbors, you name it.

Maybe it was crazy. Maybe it was a momentary respite for folks who came across it.

This empty container is a badge, the emptiness took effort, took work, took consistency. Took effort.

We earned the nothingness in the bottle over the course of the past year.

Which is also why I took great pleasure in smashing it. Cleaning it. Smashing it. And tossing it. There was pleasure when my foot landed on the center of the bottle and stayed and pressed and stood firml until it was near flat.

I smiled.

Good f*cking riddance.

And then I turned. With the next moment. Turned.

And went to the basement and got the other gallon I purchased a year ago.

Because it’s not just a symbol of what’s passed, it is a symbol of what fight and vigilance still remains.

Leave a comment

Filed under #iamgrateful #iamthankful

COMICS ON A KINDLE or A PERFECT EXPERIENCE

I just read the second to last of Ta-Nehisi Coates Black Panther run … on the kindle app on my phone … and it was a great way to read.

They have an experience where if you double tap the page, it zooms in on one frame on the page and then as you navigate, instead of turning full pages you move to the next frame. You get to switch from portrait to landscape to optimize the view for that frame and it’s seamless.

This approach also eliminates noise. I have ADHD when I read comics. I’m sometimes so curious about the next frame or page I can’t concentrate. This helps me focus and therefore go deep on details.

Man. What a dope way to read a comic book! #iamgrateful and #iamthankful I gave it a shot! So much fun and I may explore more comics this way. (Note: I was a HUGE comic book collector in elementary as school.)

Here are some screenshots so you can see how the images flow.

Leave a comment

Filed under #iamgrateful #iamthankful