77.4

I’m happpy.

Weight is down. At 77.4 Kg, it’s the lowest it’s been since December 2017, and within touching distance of the all time grown-up low in early 2015.

I’m running again. 5 consecutive days after 3 dreary runs in 3 weeks.

I’m working. It’s hard and happy work. Just the kind that drives me crazy yet leaves me happy.

I’m reading. I’ve run out of things to watch on TV so have been happily spending evenings reading in bed.

The boy is sleeping with me again. He comes and snuggles up while I’m reading. He even forced R to open the doors to come to me last night. And again this morning.

Autumn is at its most beautiful. I get to enjoy it everyday on my runs.

I’m listening to music that I like.

And, it’s sunny today. People outside northern Europe won’t understand how valuable is a sunny November morning :)

I went to pick up a book from the library…

Books from the library

I ended up getting five. I would’ve brought more, but I’d gone late and the library was closing.

I’d reserved Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo Da Vinci, so got that.
I’d been looking for a few Hemingway books. I didn’t find anything from top of the list, but did find these two, so got them.
Brad Stone’s Everything Store has been on my radar for a while. When I saw it on a shelf, I picked that up.
And close to it was Seth’s little book. So got that too.

I didn’t get to visit the Sports or the Scifi sections before they announced the library was closing.

Aside: I like how the three small books on the right are, together, about as big as the fourth book. And the four books on the right are again, together, about as big as the one on the left. Fibonacci-esque.

Last week, I…

October 2019 calendar dog confetti

… turned 40.

The calendar dog celebrated with confetti.
The dog looks like a 1 year old Chewie with Dudley’s hair colour. Chewie was a master confetti creator at that age :)

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… finished reading a book that I started reading more than 10 years ago.

It was worth it. I shouldn’t have taken that break for 9 years, 11 months.

… did a shit load of work.

It was one of my most productive weeks. Long hours + deep focus = lots of good, happy output.

… started seeing the autumn colours everywhere.

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I missed carrying a camera on my runs. But I did get a few shots in on Chewie’s evening walk yesterday.

… ran nearly every day

Missed a run on Thursday due to bad weather in the morning, and Athletics world championships in the evening.
Yep, I didn’t run because I was busy watching better runners run :)

… ran 50 km in the week

It was my first 50km week since the marathon in April

… set a new high for running mileage in a year

My total running mileage for 2019 reached 1,213 km. Previous highest was 1,202 km in 2015.

… sat for an IQ test.

I scored 133.
The score is 12 points lower than what I remember scoring in my early 20s.
Still, apparently it suggests I’m ‘gifted’. Not sure in which way.

It was a good week.

Me, here, now.

Gardening

After neglecting the garden for 5+ years, I finally started getting my hands dirty this year. It’s been a surprising delight. The flowers are blooming. No plants have died yet. And the weeds are more under control than any time last year. All this for a couple of weekends’ work, and 5-10 mins every morning or evening. My highlight achievement must be saving a few plants from near death—the purple petunias, the value pack bogonias and the medium-sized marigold—and seeing them flourish.

I am really enjoying the work in the garden—probably too much according to R. There must be some truth in what Cal Newport said—the joy of creating physical things with our own hands.

Running

I’ve been running well. I like my current running form, and the times have been reflecting the improvement. I ran my Park Run PB earlier at Woking—22:42. I ran the London marathon earlier in just under 4 hours—3:58:44. This is the first year where I have run at least 100 km every month. It’s also the first year when I’ve run at least once every week. I plan to keep the momentum going through rest of the year.

Reading

Reading has been a continuing theme from last few years. I haven’t read as many fiction books this year as non-fiction. Just haven’t found too many of ones I really want to read. Amitava Ghosh released his new book, Gun Island, so I polished that off in less than a day. But nothing much else.

I’ve read a lot of non-fiction though. Quite a few are based around self-improvement and productivity— Make time, GTD for teens, Digital minimalism, Messy, Range, Sprint, Turn the ship around

I’ve read some books from the running, swimming, cycling, hiking world, but again not as many as I would’ve liked. Goater’s Art of running faster gave some good tips, and Scott Jurek’s North was full of inspiration.

I’ve started listing the books, and notes from some of them on this site.

Head & heart

Parents were planning to visit UK this year. They’ve cancelled. I’m sad.

I stopped meditating regularly months ago. I still meditate occasionally, but without the app there isn’t much to guide me through session after session. Most of the time it is just noticing a breath (tip from Make Time).

The year, mentally, has been a roller coaster. I haven’t really touched the depths of depression like I did around October last year, but I haven’t had many periods of consistent happiness either. I have a feeling it’s all very fragile. Or is it brittle?

Finished Todo.txt for Android

I’m ending the second phase of active development for Todo.txt for Android. All core functionality works sufficiently well for my own use. Dark mode is half baked, so have moved it to the backlog for the next phase, whenever that happens.

Not doing much active development on extensions at the moment.

Next up

Next up is starting a new project, or finding a new role. Either way, it’ll be a time of flux and vulnerability. Tread kindly, por favor!

Continue reading Me, here, now.

Listening to the body

Despite the worries (which all turned out real), I ended up having a decent day yesterday. I wrote to Axc, but never heard back from them. I’m trying to make myself accept their decision. I also failed the blood test—joint lowest ever score of 131 g/l. On the other hand, I did end up getting a fair amount of work done. I also enjoyed the run in the evening—35 mins of easy run finished with 20 mins of fartlek. I ended the day very tired, slightly disheartened (I’d expected the reply from Axc at end of day), but fairly satisfied. I even finished reading a book in the bed before sleeping.

Today began well—woke to Chewie snuggled up between my legs. Worked for a couple of hours, then went downstairs for a bit of stretching, refreshing, and to pick up Dudley—today is Dudley Wednesday :)

By the time I returned back upstairs, it was already over 3 hours since I’d woken up. The morning coffee had worn off, and I was feeling surprisingly drowsy. These are usually my freshest, most productive hours. This could be due to the hay fever tab, or an effect of the run and foam rolling last evening.

I could have made another coffee, and warded the drowsiness off. But, for once, I decided to listen to the body and give it a break. I had no immediate deadlines, and I had already done over 2 hours of productive work. So, I went downstairs, drank a lot of water, got under the covers, called the boys onto the bed, set an alarm for 90 mins, and we all went to sleep1 :)

It was a beautiful, warm sleep with both boys snuggled on either side. I woke up refreshed. Not just the mind, even the legs and body felt a lot recovered. We drank more water, and went for a walk. Followed it up with lunch, another short rest, and then back to work2. It’s been another super productive 3 hours now, and I am back to being satisfied. And happy. Mostly.

Continue reading Listening to the body

Me, here, now.

Finished Todo.txt for Android

I’m at the end of second phase of active development for Todo.txt for Android. All core functionality works sufficiently well for my own use. Dark mode is half baked, so will now be moved to the backlog for the next phase, whenever that happens.

Next few weeks may see small updates to the Chrome extensions—bug fixes and minor tweaks based on user feedback over the last month and a half.

Next up

Next up is starting a new project, or finding a new role. Either way, it’ll be a time of flux and vulnerability. Tread kindly, por favor!

Gardening

After neglecting the garden for 5+ years, I finally started getting my hands dirty this year. It’s been a surprising delight. The flowers are blooming. No plants have died yet. And the weeds are more under control than any time last year. All this for a couple of weekends’ work, and 5-10 mins every morning or evening.

I am really enjoying the work in the garden—probably too much according to R. There must be some truth in what Cal Newport said—creating physical things with our own hands.

Running

I’ve been running well. I really like my current running form, and the times have been reflecting the improvement. I ran my Park Run PB a couple of weeks ago at Woking—22:42. I have been off running so far this week due to an ankle injury picked up on Saturday (thankfully, after I’d completed my 14 mile run). Looking forward to testing the ankle again with a short run later today.

Reading

I’m loving reading ‘Turn the ship around’ by David Marquet. It’s one of those books that is best read in small bits, munched over for a while, then continued. The last book in this category was Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Thinking fast and slow’. They’ll both stay in my forever library, with frequent references to notes and books.

I’m also reading Messy by Tim Harford. This is my active reading book, and will probably be finished tomorrow. It’s an interesting journey of rediscovery. I used to be atypical messy—thriving only in mess and chaos. Working independently forced me to learn discipline and to streamline my life processes. Now I am rediscovering the value of messiness. It’s a brilliant brain tickler for me—harmonising my tidy, streamlined life with a bit of messiness to add some anti-fragility.

The third book I’m currently reading is Sanjaya Baru’s ‘The accidental prime minister’. It’s hard reading, specially because I like the subject. The author covers too much of himself relative to the subject (the prime minister). It also, like bits of ‘Up in the air’, way too frequently delves into explanations and bureaucratic minutae. R tells me it gets better later, so I’m ploughing on.

Continue reading Me, here, now.

Successful tweak – meditation before sleeping

For the last 10 days, I have meditated in bed before sleeping.

I updated my pre-sleep routine. It now starts with meditating for 10 minutes – usually Daily Calm, though yesterday I tried and liked a quiet meditation. Then I massage my feet, ankles and achilles with a massage ball before wearing sleeping socks (keeping feet warm). Finally, I read a book till the eyes shut off – usually 5-15 minutes.

I have been really enjoying this routine. The meditation calms me down drastically. The massage helps the feet stay fitter while I am increasing running mileage (or at least I think it helps). Then I read something – an easy book1 or a few paragraphs of Meditations (Marcus Aurelius).

I have been having really good sleep – drifting into it peacefully, and waking calm. The anxieties from rest of the day have mostly kept at bay. I’m lovin’ it.

Continue reading Successful tweak – meditation before sleeping

Getting stronger…

It didn’t rain today. Mostly. There were passing showers throughout the day, but nothing stuck around long enough.

Spoke to Ma. It was a long chat, and a generally happy one. It was nice to hear her sound cheerful, after 5+ years of sleep deprivation & tiredness, and a few weeks of crying, loss and loneliness.

We went for a run. I ran 7K on the road – to the cathedral and back up – and then took the boys for a lap on the ridge (~3K). It was better than yesterday’s run – legs felt better, faster. Felt a tiny bit stronger.

Continue reading Getting stronger…