New Year 🥳, New…sletter 📰 !

Dear Friend,

Hey, how’s it going? It’s 2022 and it’s becoming increasing more 2020-too by the day. From the recent stock market crash to a potential war abroad, a lot has happened in just the first month of the year. And now there’s a new version of Omicron? But amidst all the dizzying headlines, I’ve been focusing on finding everyday peace through practicing daily calm and inner resilience, so that means staying safe, taking things slow, and otherwise just keep putting work in to my blessed, everyday life.

Here are some of the things I did this month:

  • In the spirit of the new year, I’ve been dabbling in new hobbies like writing poems (link) and learning about cryptocurrency. While I’m not going to be a “crypto bro” any time soon, it’s been interesting (and way more complex!) than simply Dogecoins and Shiba Inus. Adding in Defi, Metaverse, NFTs, and the technologies that powers them, it’s kind of like peeking into alternate future and reality altogether.
  • I ran 16.25 miles (average 1.80 miles per run), down from 42.08 from November. I’ve been slowly ramping up from my December break.
  • I meditated 12 days in January, with an average time of 20 minutes per session.
  • Here are some of the photos I took in January (link viewable in any browser)

Social Gatherings:

  • I saw my friend Eugene toward the end of December and for a couple hours life seemed normal. Otherwise I stayed much of January indoor due to the ridiculous surge of Omicron.

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

  • 🎬 Movie: The Tragedy of Macbeth (Apple TV+). MacBeth has always been one of my favorite Shakespeare plays to read during high school, but even then Shakespeare has always been really difficult for me to understand due to his use of old language and ambiguous meter. This movie is visually striking — all shot in black and white, the set design is surreal and other-worldly — and seeing Denzel Washington as Macbeth is the Oscar-worthy cherry on top. With the help of subtitles and the pause button I was able to take my time to fully understand and appreciate the play I always loved.
  • 📺 TV: Green Eggs and Ham (Netflix). So go watch Don’t Look Up first if you haven’t already. But once you have, and are desperate for something lighter and generally-speaking a sigh of relief, go check out Green Eggs and Ham. It’s a family-friendly show that even the adults would enjoy (if not more so than the kids), and it’s definitely as funny and heart warming as you would imagine a Dr Seuss show would be. And surprise, there’s a new season coming soon!
  • 📗 Book: A Little Hope by Ethan Joella (Goodreads). Remember that episode of The Simpsons where it was about a day in the life of a number of side characters in the town of Springfield (e.g.: Skinner’s Steamed Ham)? This book is a bit like that, where it strung together stories of different characters from the small town of Wharton, Connecticut who are each going through their own hardships. While each chapter is fairly easy to read through, when put together this book has more depth and tenderness than the sum of its parts. Page by page, I was able to find quite a bit of solace and kinship in these pages away from what’s on the news daily.
  • 🎧 Music: MIRROR (Apple Music). Hong Kong has gone (and is going) through a lot of changes from the past couple years and it can be downright miserable sometimes just to keep up with the headlines. But one of the things I’ve always admired about Hongkongers is their resilience and insistence to keep carrying on. Heavily inspired by K-Pop but localized for the Hong Kong audience, MIRROR is a 12-member boyband who is front-and-centered in today’s Hong Kong pop culture, and has been credited to have revitalized the Cantopop music industry. This band brings along a sense of optimism to today’s youths, as well as a sense of pride to the Hong Kong identity that I have not seen in decades. (Even my mom is a MIRROR stan!)
  • ▶️ YouTube: In lieu of a podcast recommendation, here are a couple YouTube videos that I came across that you may enjoy:

My next book will be Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, highly recommended by both my friend Bruce as well as this episode of Throughline. Please reply and LMK if you have a book recommendation for me! I’m currently trying to read more fiction.

Lastly, a question I came across that’s worth daydreaming/pondering if you have a moment: Who are you without somebody watching you? What would you stop doing, keep doing, or do instead?

And that’s about it for the month of January! I hope it’s interesting for you as it was nice for me to recap for the month. What are you up to and how are you doing? Any new year resolution or big plans for this year? 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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