September Reflections

Dear Friend,

Hey, how’s it going? September came and went, and the sunrise shifts just a bit later with each passing day. One unexpected perk — it’s been nice to see the sun rises alongside and throughout my morning runs. I still can’t believe 2021 is closing in on us, and I still haven’t had my annual PSL from Starbucks yet!

Here are the things I did this month:

  • I ran 44.32 miles (average 4.43 miles per run), up from 42.66 from July.
  • I’m trying to restart my meditation habit. With everything going on with work and the world, there is a need to actively find stillness in my life. Currently aiming for 20 minutes a day.
  • I’ve also been doing some light research on ebikes. My car is completely fine and the (non-Tesla) EV infrastructure is still years away from being reliable, so I’m curious to see if ebikes would be a good short/medium term solution. I’m not great at riding bikes though, so there will a learning curve involved if I do go for it.

Social Gatherings:

  • Dinner with Shannon, Dreya, and Chris: Shannon was in town! We went to Tacolicious for dinner and for a brief moment life felt normal again.
  • Dinner with Livi & Lucian: Lucian was very sweet to plan a surprise dinner for Livi’s birthday. Always good to see them and their new puppy is a wild one.

Here are the things I enjoyed and would recommend this month:

  • 🎤 Concert: HOCC Shouson Live — Denise Ho (stage name HOCC) is a entertainer in Hong Kong, whose pro-democratic views has gottened her banned in China and now increasingly censored in Hong Hong. She couldn’t book any venues (all managed and denied by the HKG government) for years, until she finally did this year with a small, indie theatre. A week before her show, the theatre cancelled on her and she had to pivot to livestreaming her concert from an undisclosed location. Her songs are all about self-empowerment and inclusivity, and her concert was touching and simply iconic. While the concert is over, you can learn more about HOCC through her TED talkas well a recent documentary about her (both in English).
  • 🎧 Podcast: Dolly Parton’s America — While today’s America is divided at best, for years Dolly Parton has been labeled a unifier that can seemingly bring everyone together. This 9-episode series goes into her upbringing, her rise to fame, her stance on politics (or lack thereof), Dollywood, and even a college course about her!
  • 🎵 Album: Firebird, by Natalie Imbruglia — If Lorde’s Solar Power was Summer captured into an album, then Firebird takes that same energy and extends it into fall. Her last original album was released in 2008 so it’s wonderful to finally hear her silky voice again through a new set of songs, filled to the brim with empowerment and positivity.
  • 📺 TVGameFace — Ian recently introduced this show to me and it carries a very similar energy as Flea Bag. Written and starred by Rosin Conaty, this 17-episode show is a hilarious, endearing journey to see Marcella stumble and her way through a series of very, FML moments.
  • 📖 BookBad Muslim Discount, by Syed M. Masood — Aside from a handful of Muslim celebrities on TV, I simply don’t know anything about the Muslim identity and culture, either here in America or otherwise. Through the eyes of two protagonists from very different backgrounds, this book provided an impactful peek into their worlds. Each chapter alternates between the two characters’ perspectives as the story accelerates and converges into a fascinating read.

My next book will be The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel, recommended by my friend Becky. (Please reply and LMK if you have a book recommendation for me! I’m currently trying to read more fiction.)

Look back ⬅️:

  • Wins: Went to the dentist after 2+ years. Ran more than last month.
  • Aspiration: Improve health by schedule a dentist & physical appointment
  • Results: Went to a new nearby dentist on a whim, but not too sure if she’s as good as I was hoping her to be.
  • Pivot: Still need to schedule a physical, and want to get a new pair of glasses.

Look Forward ➡️:

  • Goal: Decrease time on social media, notably Facebook
  • Action: Setting time restriction social media
  • Plan: Block out evening time for reading instead

And that’s about it for the month of September! I hope it’s interesting for you as it was nice for me to recap for the month. How are you doing? Do you have a (fiction) book recommendation for me? Let me know what you’ve been up to please — it seriously makes my day 🙂 Please also share this newsletter if you think other people can benefit from it! They can also subscribe to the newsletters directly below.

Love wins

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