Who is Winson?

Now at 40; Now we go again 🔄

Dear friend,

Hey, how’s it going?  After spending so much time last month reminiscing (and creating my playlist Forty, where I picked 40 songs to represent my life so far), I thought I’d be ready to reset for my new decade. Then during November came one headwind after another — nothing too severe —  but consistent enough to throw my balance and ambition off course. Still, in one of my runs (or maybe it was a meditation session?) I realized that this is just how life is — like how there is no still weather, life has no permanence. So now that I’m 40; now shall we go again.

🎶 You can check out the entire Forty playlist and a full rundown on what each song mean to me here. 🎶

Here’s what I did this month:

  • 🏃🏻‍♂️ Ran 65.63 miles (average 6.56 miles per run) this month, up from 42.02 in October.
  • 🏋🏻‍♂️ Spent 27 hours (~10k calories burned) in all workout exercises, up from 24 hours (~8k calories burned) in October.
  • 🧘🏻‍♂️ Meditated 21 days (average 24 minutes per session), down from 26 days in October.
  • 📷 Here are some of the photos I took in November (link should be viewable in any browser).

Social Gatherings:

  • 11/5: Breakfast with Homies
  • 11/12: Asian Art Museum with Becky
  • 11/22: SF Day Trip with Parents
  • 11/24: Thanksgiving Dinner with Parents

We’ve all experienced some very dark moments in the past several years that caused us stress and anxiety. And during those times when it had felt just a bit too heavy, or a bit too difficult for me to breathe, I’d try to simplify and go back to the basics: What can I leave behind that no longer serves me? What can I reduce in order to simplify my life?

I’ve been consistently removing things in my life over this past year that no longer serve me. This year I’ve sold my iMac, stopped drinking, quit Twitter (before it was cool), and also Pikmin Bloom (a Pokémon Go type game). I don’t miss any of these things in the slightest.

And then around October it dawned on me on just how drained I’ve been feeling from all these apps and their algorithms… how they are incessantly “recommending” things to me to do, listen, think, and buy. I can’t remember when I wasn’t doomscrolling on Apple News the first thing I wake up, or the last time I fell asleep without mindlessly flipping through YouTube or the IG feed. So last week I decide to rip off the proverbial band-aid and brutally deleted Instagram, Facebook, and even the Apple News app off my phone… and just see what happens in a month. Do I miss them? Oh absolutely! But perhaps I miss having my own thoughts just a tiny bit more.

And along the same line, when I do feel especially anxious I’d find myself returning to some of the same things time and time again: Animal Crossing, Bullet Journal, Writing, and Music. Perhaps on the flip side of removing frivolous things from my life, these are the things that fill me up and keep me at bay. I may not be using them consistently when life goes well, but it’s good to know these things are there for me when times get rough.

In lieu of recommending things I’ve enjoyed in November, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving and in expressing gratitude, I want to share some of the very nice things you’ve written to me from this past year. My laziness and insecurity persistently tries to convince me that these newsletter are perhaps not worth writing, but getting to hear from you (on your life updates, aka not just nice things about me) really gives real meaning to these letters, as well as the special relationship between us.

🍄 I’m so glad you do this monthly newsletter because it reminds me to get in touch!

🍄 As per usual, your letters are thoughtful and well written. I always look forward to getting them!

🍄 So glad to hear from you. Really appreciate these mails and all your positivity 🙂 keep it up Wins

🍄 Your photos are absolutely beautiful, old man.

🍄 Hope you’re well — and your email updates are always a pleasant surprise in my inbox!

🍄 I love reading about what you’re doing, experiencing and going through. It’s so nice to connect and know others are experiencing similar things!

🍄 I love your newsletters.  Keep it up.  Love seeing what a beautiful man you are.

🍄 Proud of you for keeping up with meditation. That’s the beauty of meditation, you come to many realization… of your body, small little things we take for granted, the law of nature and so on.

🍄 Thank you for your beautiful writings.  I wanted to write because I wanted to let you know I feel the same way – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

🍄 Hi Winson – so nice to hear from you – these monthly missives are wonderful. 

🍄 While i wish i could offer you words of wisdom, i find myself welcoming you to the club. 

🍄 As always, I really enjoy reading these. It gives me such a window into your rollercoaster of a month.

🍄 This one especially resonated with me (regarding a Moment of Zen)

🍄 I appreciate you and these newsletters.  I truly appreciate reading kind, insightful and rational things instead of the news – which has been really stressful…

🍄 This was an absolute joy to read. ❤ 

(Are you feeling the FOMO? Then reply and tell me how you’re doing 😁)

🤔 A Moment of Zen: Close your eyes and recall some of your to-dos and did-do items. Which of these items absolutely drain you and are without purpose — and which of them absolutely fill you up with joy and meaning? The ones that drain you — can you stop doing them or remove them from your life? The ones that fill you up, what do they bring you… and how can you add even more meaning to them?

And that’s about it for the month of November! I hope it’s interesting for you as it was nice for me to recap for the month. 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

You Can’t Spell SpOoOky without OoO 😱

Dear friend,

Hey, how’s it going? It’s hard to imagine that this is my last month before turning forty 😱! I’ll go more into it next month, but it’s been weighty month to reflect on my life so far. Aside from that, work has been picking up steam as Ian and I are getting ready for what looks to be a tough winter what with the incoming twindemic tripledemic. Honestly, a lot of my colleagues and friends are going through different kinds of flu-like things lately! Please stay safe (and vaccinated), everyone.

Here’s what I did this month:

  • 🏃🏻‍♂️ Ran 42.02 miles (average 4.66 miles per run) this month, down from 43.85 in September.
  • 🏋🏻‍♂️ Spent 23.31 hours (~8k calories burned) in all workout exercises, same as September.
  • 🧘🏻‍♂️ Meditated 26 days (average 22 minutes per session), up from 24 days in September.
  • 📷 Here are some of the photos I took in October (link should be viewable in any browser).

Social Gatherings:

  • 10/15: Brunch with homies
  • 10/29: Breakfast with Chris

As I mentally prepare for the big 4-0, I spent a lot of time this month going on walks and reflecting my current life; in one of these walks I had the idea to create a playlist, featuring forty songs of the most meaningful and representative of my life (so far, I ain’t dead yet!).

🎶 You can check out the entire playlist and a full rundown on what each song mean to me here. 🎶

Speaking of music, it’s really been the one anchor in my life that carries me through the high, mundane, and low points of my life. Coincidentally, a lot of the artists I follow released new music this year, so I thought to highlight a couple of them below (all links are Apple Music):

  • 🍄 Fossora, by Bjork: While Vespertine will always be my favorite album of all time, Bjork has consistently taught and stretched the definition of what music can and should be for me. Her albums over the years had abstract themes ranging everything from the cosmos to mindful transandence, so I just knew it’s going to be another wild ride when she described Fossora as a fungi album. While rarely an easy listen, her music always opens my mind up for lifelessons, emotions, and otherwise musical things I didn’t know I needed, and Fossora is absolutely no different.
  • 🕺 Homosexual, by Darren Hayes: I have felt a connection with Darren Hayes ever since the very first single of Savage Garden’s To the Moon and Back. In that music video I could tell there was a secret in him, as there was in me, years before acceptance and decades even before having the ability to embrace our own identities. I thought Secret Codes and Battleships would be his last — it’s been ten years, afterall. But turns out he had been working on a new album, mostly by himself (!), and this album is just as imperfect and gorgeous as ever.
  • 👬 Profound Memories, by Röyksopp: It all started with a Geico ad where the music was a bit too good to go unnoticed, and before I knew it I’ve been following Röyksopp for two decades. I absolutely loved their last album before their haitus, so color me surprised when they dropped Profound Memories back in April. While that alone would make any fan happy, turns out that was only the beginning — in August they dropped a brand new album as part two, with another part three album come November. From having zero albums to getting three brand new albums in a year — sometimes profound things do happen.
  • 🙆🏻‍♀️ Hold the Girl, by Rina Sawayama: If only she was around when I was growing up! Growing up, I’d have to look across the world and basically switch to the Asian side of my brain to find any type of representation in music. Fast forward to now where it’s simply amazing to see such a talented, British-born Japanese artist to kick ass and changing up the music scene. Even then, she’s so underrated and under-recognized as this album is so well-made and polished that it could easily be mistaken for one of Lady Gaga’s.

▶️ YouTube Sundries:

🤔 A Moment of Zen: As the cells within our bodies continuously die and replenish, some have said we’re an entirely new person every seven years. So take a minute and imagine who you want to become seven years from now. What kind of person do you want to be? Will you be stronger? healthier? wiser? kinder? What are the steps, big or small, that can take you there along the way?

And that’s about it for the month of October! I hope it’s interesting for you as it was nice for me to recap for the month. 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

Forty, the Playlist

As I mentally prepare for the big 4-0, I’ve spent a lot of time this month going on walks and reflecting my current life; in one of these walks I had the idea to create a playlist, featuring forty songs of the most meaningful and representative of my life (so far, I ain’t dead yet!).

You can listen to the the full playlist (Apple Music, Spotify) here.

You can also check out the rundown below on what each song means to me. If you’ve known me at a specific point in time, it’s fair to say you can easily recognize that part of this playlist.

  1. 順流、逆流 (Downstream, Upstream), by Paula Tsui

    This is honestly the oldest song I can remember hearing as a kid. My dad’s not a big music fan, but he loves Paula and especially this song — mostly because of the lyrics. I remember watching her old performances and Dad would say how this was a “good song” because it taught people to work hard and to strive for their dream.
  2. 真的愛妳 (Honestly Love You), by Beyond

    Another song I remember hearing when I was maybe 6, 7 years old? Mom loves Beyond and especially this song, probably totally not because how this song is all about how loving and giving mothers are. Nice try, mom.
  3. 血染的風采 (The Glory of Bloodstain), by Anita Mui

    This song is very difficult to listen to these days, but it’s important to include as it’s perhaps one of the most political Cantonese song about the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. I specifically remember this fundraiser event where famous celebrities would perform this song to help raise money for the students in Beijing. Most of those celebrities now sing endless praise for all things China.
  4. 一起走過的日子 (The Days We Walked Together), by Andy Lau

    Andy Lau was famous before, but this song legit elevated him to a whole new level. It was also one of the first “non-kids” song I remember liking. Ask any Cantonese-speaking person to sing this song and they will be able to do so, because it’s that iconic.
  5. Save the Best for Last, by Vanessa Williams

    She performed this song in Hong Kong about one month before we emigrated to the US. I didn’t know anything about her before this song, but to this day I still remember thinking how elegant and pretty she was.
  6. 情斷維也納 (Heartbroken in Vienna), by Sammi Cheng

    This is one of her deepest cut, and years before Sammi Cheng became the famous Cantopop singer of the 90’s and 2000’s. Yearning to be a grown up, I would borrow this cassette tape from my brother and loop this track non-stop.
  7. Again, by Janet Jackson

    The year was 1992 and my mind was blown when I found out about this song, and how it was even better than Toni Braxton’s similarly titled Breathe Again — a song I was already obsessed with. This song captured a lot of that time, when I was fresh-eyed and bewildered about everything San Francisco and America.
  8. 追 (Chase), by Leslie Cheung

    In the now-iconic Hong Kong movie “Who’s the Man? Who’s the Woman?”, the protagonist played by Leslie Cheung was questioning his sexuality and I was subconsciously wondering the same, even though it would be years before coming out and self-acceptance. Both this movie and Leslie reminds me of my brother at that time.
  9. Foolish Games (Radio Edit), by Jewel

    Middle school and I was simply obsessed with this song. I honestly remember thinking, “there will never be a better song than this.”
  10. Gangsta’s Paradise, by Coolio

    Maybe it was my age, or maybe it really was Michelle Pfiffer, but this was the first song that opened my eyes and helped me understand that unlike what my parents say, rap is not bad.
  11. Lovin’ You, by 彭羚

    Cass Phang was perhaps one of the first artist I truly felt connected to and was in love with. She had a hell of a singing range, and was the definition of class.
  12. Butterfly, by Mariah Carey

    This song and album will always remind me of my brother. Not because this was his or my favorite, but the fact that I would do my nightly high school homework while listening to this album on repeat. Like every. single. night, for months on end. He makes fun of me about this even to this day.
  13. 曖昧 (Uncertainty), by Faye Wong

    “Are you gay? It’s okay if you are.” My brother and I aren’t really close, but around high school was when we were the closest. He asked me this question one day out of nowhere, and out of unpreparedness I blurted out “Of course not!”. But deep down I knew I was, and so did he.
  14. Invisible Man, by 98°

    My friend Michael introduced me to this song and it’s honestly still one of my all-time favorites. It wasn’t until their second album (and specifically the pictures in the album, ahem) did I start paying real attention to this band called 98˚.
  15. Have You Ever, by Brandy

    Whether from radio or TV, Brandy was simply unavoidable in the late nineties. I still remember going to the Virgin Megastore on Saturday mornings and just loiter there for hours, and much of the time was spent listening to this album — specifically this song.
  16. It’s Not Right But It’s Okay, by Whitney Houston

    I always knew of Whitney Houston, but it wasn’t until her album “My Love is Your Love” that got me interested in her. Between When You Believe and Heartbreak Hotel was this song, and it’s 👏 just 👏 so 👏 sassy!
  17. Nothing Really Matters, by Madonna

    1998 was a breakthrough year of music, and Madonna’s Ray of Light was one my favorite albums released that year. Similar to Whitney, I didn’t really care for Madonna until seeing the music video for Nothing Really Matters. The message, the beat, the lewk… My seventeen-year old mind was absolutely blown by everything that was this song, and got me following her ever since.
  18. Gunning Down Romance, by Savage Garden

    Besides Elton John and maaybe George Michael, there simply weren’t any gay idols in that era. None that I could relate to, anyways. Savage Garden’s Darren Hayes was close, even if it was years before his coming out. This song captured a lot of my mood during that time of my life — especially the drama and theatrics of it all.
  19. 開始懂了 (Begin to Understand), by Stefanie Sun

    Whenever I return home from college every winter break, I’d meet my high school friends over Karaoke. That’s when my friend Becky first introduced me to Stefanie Sun, and this song was one of her best. There’s this great line in it — 快樂是選擇 (Happiness is a choice) — that really struck me. I thought it was so inspirational, though I didn’t truly believe it at the time.
  20. One Man Guy, by Rufus Wainwright

    I want this song to be played in my funeral! Second year in college was when my friend Wendy introduced me to Rufus Wainwright. I spent my summer nights swooning over his voice and overly-romantic lyrics, though ironically enough this song — one I find so well-encapsulated to my identity at the time — is actually a cover of his dad’s (Loudon Wainwright III).
  21. Delicate, by Damien Rice

    I was an RA in my third year of college and was blessed with a floor full of lovely residents. That’s when I met Amelia, who introduced Damien Rice to me. We’d spend so much time in my room studying, playing Animal Crossing, and otherwise being a group of dorks on a Friday night.
  22. Unison, by Björk

    Ted was the another person who really opened my eyes, musically-speaking. In my fourth year of college, my mother was at the worst of her mental health, and it was Ted who unknowingly kept my days bright through his witty sarcasm.
  23. Remind Me, by Röyksopp

    It all started with a Geico ad where the music was a bit too good to go unnoticed, and before I knew it I’ve been following Röyksopp for over two decades. This song was at the pinnacle of Röyksopp, and was a great follow-up from the Kings of Convenience — my other band obsession at the time.
  24. Colors, by Hikaru Utada

    “If you can’t see the blue sky, you can open your blue umbrella” This life-changing line changed my mindset for good and got me carrying blue umbrellas to this very day. Oh and this song is such a bop, too.
  25. 5:55, by Charlotte Gainsbourg

    Ted was again the one who introduced Charlotte Gainsbourg to me, this time through Air. I just thought her voice was so cool and French, which always, always reminds me of my friends Florent and Christophe.
  26. 浮誇, by Eason Chan

    I spent two years in Hong Kong after college, and this was one of hugely popular songs that my friends and I would belt to in our Karaoke sessions. Eason was in a league of his own, and dare I say this was one of the best songs in his career.
  27. Breathe Me, by Sia

    Having recently returned to the states, I was jobless and alone so what better way to spend my days than to binge watch all of Six Feet Under? The ending of the show was so touching, and a huge part of that was because of this amazing, breath-taking song.
  28. On The Verge Of Something Wonderful, by Darren Hayes

    This song is the definition of joy for me. I still follow and connect with Darren Hayes years after Savage Garden, and amidst all his darker (and sadder) songs there’s this standout that’s all about that moment right before the absolute burst of happiness. I’d play this song whenever something big happens to me, whether it’s getting a job offer or otherwise celebrating a huge milestone.
  29. Only Girl (In The World), by Rihanna

    I took a break after Research Now and went to Australia to attend my cousin’s graduation. This song of the summer was cooling down in the US but it was just heating up in Australia, so this song remained in my iPod shuffle for the majority of that year. It’s also one of my absolute favorite of Rihanna’s.
  30. Mexico, by Jump, Little Children

    There was this guy who would come to SF during the summer and we’d have a complete blast, only for him to return home and practically disappear from my life for the rest of the year. He introduced me to this amazing band, and needless to say this song carried me through the many times I’d have to get over him afterwards.
  31. Utopia, by Goldfrapp

    I was dating Chris for a while and he introduced me to Goldfrapp. We went to their concert one time and my jaw was on the floor when Alison performed this live. She had a flu at the time and was still able to hit that high note flawlessly!
  32. 垂涎 (Coveted), by Joey Yung

    I lived in LA for two years and had a personal project where I would write (exactly) 100 words for (exactly) 100 days. During that time, I spent most of the weekends writing at Starbucks, usually listening to various Cantopop albums. Sidenote: I have this thing where I can’t read or write in the same language as the music I listen to (or else I would get very distracted), so I often listen to Cantopop while writing English or vice versa.
  33. 鋼鐵是怎樣煉成的 (How Steel is Made), by HOCC

    Along with Darren Hayes, Denise Ho is the other artist I really connected with in terms of their outlook in life. Years before her coming out and active role in political activism, she was already considered by many to live a challenging life — often times choosing to speak out on social issues instead of living in the safety net of money and fame as a celebrity. This song written by her friend about her iron-will personality became one of her most iconic hits, and one I can relate to the most.
  34. 誰 (Who), by Ellen Loo

    I can write a thousand words about my love for Ellen Loo and it still won’t nearly be enough. Her tragic death in 2018 left a huge hole in my heart and in ways I’m still recovering from. As a guitarist, she was often told that she’s “good enough for a girl” and over the years became one of the best guitarists in Hong Kong. She will always be my north star on what it means to put in the work to be the best.
  35. Burn The Witch, by Radiohead

    While I like Radiohead just fine, this song and album will always encapsulate that serendipitious encounter at Amoeba Records during that one E3. And can we talk about this song’s build up at the end??
     
  36. Here Comes a Thought (feat. AJ Michalka & Estelle)

    Ian and Steven Universe will always be inter-related, and for all of the good reasons. Thank you for entering my life and changed it for the better. This song is the essence of not just the cartoon show, nor of us, but of all the special moments we share between us.
     
  37. everything i wanted, by Billie Eilish

    This song knocks me off my feet and makes me feel all the things with every single listen. Emotional, melancholy, and so damn honest — this song captures every reason why I think Billie Eilish is so, so special. And in the age of Canadian and British imports, is it bad that I’m weirdly proud that she’s from LA, of all places
     
  38. People, I’ve been sad, by Christine and the Queens

    When this song came out in the very beginning of the Covid lockdown, the world was so scary yet there was a real sense of unity between humanity —  at least that’s what I saw with my rose-tinted glasses. It really taught me the importance to practice kindness in life but especially during that difficult time. This song will always remind me of that time and place for me.
     
  39. The Path, by Lorde

    This song is incredible and almost life-changing for me. In between working remotely and doomscrolling, I was trapped in a dark place  until this song opened the skies for me — reminding me to take pause and let nature show me the way. 
     
  40. Build It Better, by Natalie Imbruglia

    As I’ve mentioned, 1998 was a really big music year for me, and a crucial part of that was Natalie Imbruglia’s debut album — Left of the Middle. I’ve followed her ever since then, as to me she’s such a symbol of resilience to keep moving. Her new album is unapologetically optimistic, something that my younger self could never relate to but feels right at home today.

Love wins

Here’s The Thing About Change 🌱

Dear friend,

Hey, how’s it going? This month has been really busy, and along with it came so much tiredness. I now have to commute down to Cupertino three times a week and it’s going… fine. While having in-person meetings is surprisingly helpful, my workdays are sometimes stretched to 10+ hours in addition to the long commute. But as my no-nonsense friend Judy would say, “they’re paying you, so suck it up”!

Here’s what I did this month:

  • 🏃🏻‍♂️ Ran 43.85 miles (average 4.38 miles per run) this month, down from 46.92 in August.
  • 🏋🏻‍♂️ Spent 23 hours (~8.5k calories burned) in all workout exercises, down from 26 hours (~10k calories burned) in August.
  • 🧘🏻‍♂️ Meditated 24 days (average 25 minutes per session), up from 14 days in August.
  • 📷 Here are some of the photos I took in September (link should be viewable in any browser).

Social Gatherings:

  • 9/10: Birthday Party at Livi’s
  • 9/11: Drinks with Shannon and Dreya
  • 9/24: Breakfast with Chris

Whether it be climate change, social injustice, political turmoil, or the COVID-19 pandemic, all of us had spent the past few years living in an “unprecedented times” stuck on repeat. And whenever I’d felt frustrated or helpless, the one advice I would hear repeatedly is to focus on things we have actual change over, while paying more attention to things happening on the local level. This month, I want to specifically highlight some of the podcasts that’s brought me more clarity — ranging from things I can change on my own to the ability to zoom out to things happening on the local and national level.

  • 🙇🏻 You: Hidden Brain (You 2.0 series): While the overall series explores ways our daily lives are surrounded by hidden societal and human behaviors, their You 2.0 series focuses on ways we can actively change ourselves for the better. Whether it’s befriending your inner critic, overcoming stage fright, or becoming more open minded, the You 2.0 series is helpful to understand ourselves better.
  • 🏫 Local: State of the Bay: Today’s headlines often surround things happening on the national and international level, it’s easier than ever to miss things happening right in our backyard. State of the Bay zooms in on local Bay Area issues like homelessness, monkeypox updates, and other things that actually impact our daily lives (not to mention SF introducing new trash can prototypes that cost up to $20k). This show is also produced by KALW, the other public radio station in SF that happens to locate in my old high school.
  • 🇺🇸 National: Throughline: Like I said, there are endless ways to be frustrated by the news these days. And “unprecedented times” aside, Throughline has been helpful in providing me greater context, in that a lot of things we’re facing today had been discussed and argued over in America’s past. Topics like white racism, student loans, fighting inflation, and Socialism in America remind us just how much we can still learn from our past.
  • 🌞 Something Different: Uncuffed: Another way to affect change is to put myself in someone else’s shoes, and Uncuffed is perfect in that it’s a podcast created by people behind bars in California’s San Quentin and Solano prisons. While our lives are so, so different, the desires to be something more is simply universal. Hearing these inmates share stories of fatherhood, gratitude, and even their resilience during the COVID pandemic is heartfelt and humbling. The show recently lost their funding the state had promised, so any donation is helpful.

▶️ YouTube Sundries:

🤔 A Moment of Zen: Think of something you care deeply about. This can be a person, an object, a place, or even a cause. Now take a minute and ponder the things you can do to express your deep care for this thing. Are there specific actions you can do, or can you donate your time/attention/money toward it? How does this thought of applying your contribution toward something you value make you feel?

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. 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

Happiness is a Muscle 💪🏼

Dear Friend,

Hey, how’s it going? After months of indecisions, I finally made a big-boy purchase for a M2 Macbook Air. It’s to encourage me to write more, but so far I’ve just been using it as a big screen YouTube machine. But the potential is there, I promise! All jokes aside, my hope is to be able to write more and better utilize my website to collect my thoughts — on minimalism, productivity, empathy, life lessons, etc. It’s less Ted Talk and more soap box, but what do you think? What’s on brand for me to write about?

In other news, whenever my manager would ask me for feedback at work, he’d say something like, “…based on your decade of experience”. And even though I’ve been doing PM work for some time now, it’s not something I’m used to hearing — to a point where I have to actively remind myself to get over it because it’s true. I’ve always seen myself as the student in a room of teachers, but as I’m increasingly becoming the oldest person in meetings, I understand the importance to acknowledge my skills and worth.

Anyways, here are some of the things I did this month:

  • 🏃🏻‍♂️ Ran 46.92 miles (average 3.6 miles per run) this month, up from 35.05 in July.
  • 🏋🏻‍♂️ Spent 26 hours (~10k calories burned) in all workout exercises, down from 28.5 hours (~10k calories burned) in July.
  • 🧘🏻‍♂️ Meditated 14 days (average 20 minutes per session), down from 26 days in July.
  • 📷 Here are some of the photos I took in August (link should be viewable in any browser).

🧋 Social Gatherings:

  • Walk with Jessica
  • SF Day Trip with Amanda
  • Brunch with Chris
  • Picnic with Homies
  • Dinner with Rick

Here is a quick list of entertainment that brought me joy this month:

  • 📺 TV: The Sandman (Netflix). While the world has largely moved on to The House of the Dragon, we recently just wrapped up season 1 of The Sandman. And you know what, I think the hype for this show is legit. It’s like a better, more modern take of Doctor Who — and like The Doctor, Morpheus is equally as mysterious and weird. But even with the latest surprise episode drop, one question remain: Like, is he supposed to be hot or not?
  • 🎧 Music: Sparrow, by Jump, Little Children (Apple Music). First off, please give Hold Me Closer because Britney needs a win. Then let’s talk about Jump, Little Children. For better or worse, this band defined my twenties when for a few summers I was involved with someone who didn’t always return the affection or the attention. Jump, Little Children was his favorite band, and with that their music was always in heavy rotation in my iPod nano. But drama aside, I’m blessed to be introduced to this awesome band, so color me surprise when I realized they had released a “new” reunion album back in 2018. The second Jay Clifford hits his first note off Sparrow and memories from that era just came rushing back. Not good, not bad, just glad it happened.
  • 🎤 Podcast: Planet Money Summer School (NPR). Planet Money was amongst the first shows I subscribed to when I first started listening to podcasts, like, twelve years ago? While they’re good at talking about economy without being too stuffy or snobby about it, it can be a challenge to catch up to this almost-daily show. That’s what makes Planet Money Summer School so great, where they recut older episodes into educational themes for audiences to catch up and for their staff to take the summer off (or at least have a lighter workload), all while keeping the sponsorship money ball rolling. Coming from the media world at IGN, that’s what we call a win-win-win strategy!
  • ▶️ YouTube Sundries:

🤔 A Moment of Zen: You have one million dollars to spend (only) on yourself. What would you buy? Would these purchases go toward items, experiences, or something else? Will they repay your past, sustain your present, or improve on your future? And after spending this money, who will you become?

And that’s about it for the month of August! I hope it’s interesting for you as it was nice for me to recap for the month. 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