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.
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).
- 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.