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Check-in at 43

My 43rd birthday was on Tuesday. Writing that down and seeing the age leaves me in a state of awe. Forty three is not a young age to be and I marvel at how quickly life goes, especially as you age. How could I be 43 years old already?

Regardless, I’ve settled in comfortably to midlife. I made all the right decisions and am now in a very good spot. I have a great family, we live in a beautiful and diverse place, and I really enjoy my job. There is a part of me however that is a little sad to be this age already and I think it helps to recognize that feeling. Luckily I’ve discovered a wonderful antidote which is to keep life interesting. This can be as simple as changing up a music playlist or discovering a new game to planning new international trips or rediscovering a passion such as language learning or the study of history. For me, learning more about the world and looking at international travel is particularly exciting. I can easily slip on my VR goggles and go almost anywhere in the world. I can open up Wikipedia or a new book and learn something I didn’t know before. Finally, I’m hoping to start getting away to a few international destinations here soon. The hurdles are young kids and that Japan always takes all the time and money every year. However, with flight benefits I’m sure I can get away here and there when they’re in Japan or bring them along. It is hard to convince the wife about doing anything like that though. Japanese don’t like to do things out of the regular routine and any suggestion is often met with an “Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhheh??”

I’m continuing my path towards a sort of introversion when it comes to social media and national news. Social media no longer brings any joy. I’ve seen all the pictures I need to for now, have no need to read any shared memes and certainly don’t want to hear their political opinions. I still find it amazing that some women will post picture after picture of themselves. Imagine explaining the state of social media to someone from the 80s or 90s. They would ask why someone would want to do that and wouldn’t their friends get a bit tired of pressing a “like” button all of the time? The answer is yes, and the world has gone off the rails.

Not only are people now posting picture after picture of themselves but also their children. These same people were especially reluctant to post pictures of their kids on the internet of 2001 due to a fear of pedophiles coming to get them! Now, it is a virtual flood of pictures that cannot be stopped. The quick hit of dopamine that the brain receives is too much to ignore for some people and they seek it day after day. Someone from the 80s/90s would also marvel at how outspoken people are on the internet. There is no modesty, no reservation, no filter on the internet. You’d be hard pressed to hear someone explain their political opinions back in high school, but these same people will repeat what they’ve heard on their propaganda channel of choice.

The news is also particularly depressing. In short, we have a narcissistic, crazy man as President whose cult of personality is very alluring to many. I personally think he is the perfect president for the selfish, shallow, me-first culture America has become. Obama said America was “exceptional.” Well, no, no we weren’t. We are just as decadent as any other country out there and this truth has manifested itself into the President. If a society is sick then the symptoms will eventually show and boy are they showing now. Trump is President with a lot of support. In normal times this would be absolutely shocking to any sane person. We’ve got race riots since the racism was always there but is now being recorded and shared to many viewers.

It seems to me that Obama was sort of a short term medicine for America while he was in office. He offered “hope and change.” Well, the medicine kept us all feeling good for a while, but it only helped with the symptoms and during this time the disease spread even more deeply into American society. You take the Obama medicine away and the disease rushes back stronger than ever. It is like COVID-19 is a perfect mirror to society and our current situation. The disease infecting American society has not only manifested itself in Trump but also in an actual virus of the likes we’ve never seen before.

Sticking with my metaphor of Trump being the result of American sickness I would say Democrats helped it along. The metaphor for Democrats would be a diet of fast food, cigarettes and alcohol. With all the news coming out and the connections Clinton had with Epstein and Maxwell such as traveling to Epstein’s Island and a possible affair with Maxwell I’m sure there is so much dirt there that we’ve just hit the tip of the ice burg. No wonder someone had Epstein killed. Epstein’s “suicide” is just as big of a lie as Iraq having mass destruction. It is simply another big cover up in a string of cover ups. American leaders plod along creating one mess after another and nobody really knows what the fuck they are doing but are having “fun” and lining their pockets while doing it.

And guess what type of situation we’re in now? We’ve got Biden, who also is a sleaze and lines not only his own pockets but that of his son. A Ukrainian Energy company? It is obvious he receives his paycheck for being Biden’s son. Where is the accountability these days? So although Trump is an abomination the Democrats are also to blame. Not that Hillary would take any of that blame of course. It is good the Clinton dirt is coming out and I look forward to the volumes of Trump dirt that will come out in 30 years or so. Or perhaps it won’t? At the rate we are going I imagine we could have a straight up dictator that half of the population loves.

Well, I’ve gotten off on a bit of a tangent. It is applicable though because it is hard to now have my mind filled with these thoughts. The world has become such a strange place that I want to cut myself off from national news and social media. I want to delve into international travel and study. As for America I’ve finally realized that there is no “team.” America is about individual profit and is a wonderful business. Just need to shed the lie that we were all part of a team and that is hard to do after having to Pledge Allegiance for most of my childhood.

At this age, a trickle of people around the same age that I once knew dying is starting to appear. It is like a few raindrops hitting the pavement when you know that over the next few years those raindrops will start to increase becoming a light, then heavy rain over the next two decades. Two people around the same age from my high school have died in the past month. Nobody from my class has died yet but I imagine the probability is high that at least one will in the next few years. That is very strange realization and hard to digest.

Other than death there are also divorces, family troubles and those who still haven’t found anyone. As far as I can tell, the divorces have been pretty tame compared to our own parent’s generation. It seemed like about half of my friend’s parents were divorced. Among my own generation it seems like the majority are holding together. Social media only tells one so much however so that number could be higher. There are also a number of pretty girls that I’ve known who are still single. I’ve often believed that being pretty is also a big curse. Pretty girls attract the bad guys and the girls always seem to fall for them. Pretty girls are also always looking for something better and so those that never “settle” often find themselves alone and often get a dog. I think the desire to love something is an intrinsic human need and a dog fits that role perfectly. On the overall dogs are better than people hands down so I understand this completely and my mentioning it is actually praise rather than a put-down.

As for the allure of wine and partying, I still like a good party but the price to pay for drinking alcohol has become too much at 43. I rarely drink beer and now even if I limit my intake of wine the sugars in it will not let me sleep. I hate that. Furthermore, alcohol affects my mood and I’m down for a couple of days after drinking. I don’t like that either. I’ve also been getting into really good shape so much prefer how that makes me feel than the feeling wine gives me for a few hours.

However, wine on a Friday evening while watching the sunset is also hard to turn down. Wine sets my mind free and removes the constraints set by routine thought patterns. My thoughts soar into wonderful directions under the influence of wine and I get some wonderful ideas that would otherwise not have occurred. Regardless the scales are tipping towards not drinking at all as again, there is a three day repayment for 4 hours of enjoyment and that is a heavy price to pay.

What else can I say about 43? I’m now even more of an official adult. I’m still waiting for that moment where I get my official adult card that comes with unlimited and perfect knowledge I thought all adults had when I was a kid. The more I learn the less I realize I know. However, I do feel as though I’ve got a handle on the adult world more than ever before and can point to a few specific examples.

  1. At work I deal with some very smart people at the top technology companies. I’ve become very comfortable doing this and am thoroughly confident in doing so. This comes from “deep confidence” I’ve gained from not only work experience and dealing with many different types of people over two decades but also from life and international experience.
  2. I finally have a confident handle on my finances. The stock market used to be something foreign to me but thanks to a vast array of new technology tools I can keep a pulse on the market as well as on many of the ways to invest my money. I feel so confident in this that not even the huge COVID-19 declines rattled me. There was a slight shiver maybe, but it was barely perceptible. My finances are sound and my only concern is the state of the economy in the coming years, although I’m still very much an optimist.
  3. The world – I’m starting to see much more clearly how the world works. The only constant is change and I’m in a much better mood if I just accept that things will be as they will be. Americans want to choose Trump, fine. Americans want to choose a bloody tyrant the next time, fine. That is they way of the world and through my international experiences I can always adapt and take my family with me. I have confidence in my ability to adapt and thus can release any mental anguish over things I cannot control. I’m reading The Tale of Genji written over 1000 years ago in Japan and one thing they say over and over is that “the world is uncertain.” We can plan and build safeguards and try to give ourselves a sense of security all we like, but the world will change according to its own rhythm and it is best to go along with it.

And that is my mindset on this 29th day of May in the year 2020.

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Covid – 19 – Seventh Update

It is 6:50 AM on Sunday May 24th, 2020. The sun is just coming up over Sweeney Ridge and the morning temperature is still a little cold. There is a thin layer of clouds to the north but the rest of the sky blue once past Daily City. The sun will gain strength and it should be a beautiful day with forecasts in the mid-sixties.

I’m in my reading nook and the house is still quiet except for my son playing Fortnite with my cousin Bridget’s son Mitchell. As I wrote the previous sentence I realized that Mitchell must have had to stop playing as my son has fallen silent. The only sounds now are the hum of the fish tank and a small bird chirping outside. Silence is good and absolutely needed to keep one’s sanity. In silence I can almost feel my mind healing itself. This silence will not last as the rest of the family will wake up and constant noise will ensue. A car has just passed and from its loud intrusive sound I realize there have not been many cars passing by yet this morning. Silence is a treasure that I haven’t had completely in a long time. The invention of motors means an unrelenting, worldwide assault on human sanity.

This is a holiday weekend although my birthday falls just after in the workweek it still makes this weekend a bit special. I never liked having my birthday fall around Memorial Day because due to the long weekend my classmates would all go out of town and nobody was around for a birthday party. I did enjoy however that my birthday also marked the start of better weather, blooming flowers, the end of school and the start of summer. This weekend was always one that inspired joy and excitement in my childhood. Now I am turning 43 and that joy is no longer present. The weather is the same everyday here in Pacifica, there is no summer break for me and I certainly am not thrilled about being another year older. There will be no birthday party, no cake, and it might as well be just any other day. The only excitement I’ll have to create myself which I plan on doing by having a cookout and drinking wine. The joy and good feeling which so easily appears in childhood must now be artificially produced through drinking wine.

But at 43, the joy of alcohol also has lessened considerably. I rarely drink these days but if I do I’ll go with a bottle of wine. Beer leaves me feeling bloated and with a cheap, inferior buzz. Wine makes me feel warm, fuzzy and my mind is able to open up to unique thoughts and ideas. So long as I have no more than one bottle, there is no hangover the next day. However, over the past year the sugars in wine will not allow me to sleep. This may be a part of getting older but also I’m actually in better shape having worked out quite a bit recently. Alcohol and its sugars do not go well with a more in shape body. I’ve also learned to never mix alcohols again. If I mix then I will have a terrible hangover the next day. Finally another negative impact that goes with wine is although I do not have a hangover my mind is not at rest the day after drinking. I’m always glad in the morning if I decided not to open wine and slightly sad if I did drink. The reason is I like to be extremely productive and alcohol makes me a bit lethargic which means more of the day will be wasted.

As for COVID-19 the days roll by. One of the major changes in my mindset through this is I’m starting to detest the Democrats. Mind you I am liberal and have been for over 20 years. During the Hillary fiasco and her not taking any of the blame for causing our current situation I decided to become an independent but would still vote almost entirely for Democrats. Well, through their failures on the national level, letting Trump and the Neanderthals run rampant, the fact that Biden is not drumming up much enthusiasm and has a very good chance of losing, as well as that their policies have made San Francisco a drug-infested, poop-stained dump, I was already starting to sour on the Democrats. But there is one thing that is making me decide to never vote for any Democrat again and that is their policy of wanting to keep the economy closed forever.

My mind now wants to put everything the Democrats and Republicans have ever done aside and focus on the single most important thing which is the ability to earn a living and provide for my family. The Republicans want to open things up and the Democrats want to keep them closed. This makes the Democrats a direct and severe threat to me. My political bent is no longer made by national policy, how many foreign wars the US wants to start, stances on societal issues of the day. No, it is on something that affects me right now and in a very severe way. The Democrats want to keep all of us in a home prison and destroy us all financially and the Republicans don’t. End of story.

So due to COVID-19 a major shift is happening in my thinking. I was a Republican in business college at OSU. I became enlightened while overseas and saw that being a liberal what what the smart people became. But now I’m solidly independent. The liberal San Francisco policies have failed. What you’ve got there is a mixture of naked perverts, drug addicted homeless which defecate on streets and threaten passers by, and politicians who think that giving everyone free drugs and money will make things better. Now it is easy to see how the mood of society can swing as the mood has shifted greatly within myself. I was all for opening up, decriminalizing drugs, letting people be. But now I realize that humans become a mess without some structure. Enough is enough, I’m going from laissez-faire to almost fascist! Clean it up, kick those bums out, tell the liberals to stop whining and so on. Liberals really are a bunch of sissies aren’t they? All of this is what a small but growing voice inside of me is saying. Biden is probably going to lose to Trump, the Democrats fail again and it is all their own fault.

It is time to open the economy and Trump has it right. The Democrats are falling right into the Republican trap in being able to portray them as the party that wants American and Americans to fail. What better way to do so than by keeping them trapped in their homes and not allowing them to make a living? This disaster is of their own making. Even me, a supporter of the police, a law abiding person who always uses his turn signals is contemplating whether or not to ignore the Shelter In Place order and have people over for drinks this weekend. Democrats do want to keep everything shut forever and it is very telling when I’m actually considering breaking the law because enough is enough! Well, if someone like me feels this way I imagine that this pot is not only going to boil over but about ready to completely explode. And guess what, the Democrat leadership is caught flat footed again. This is a shame. I think we were all ready to get Trump out of office but here he is, saying lets open things up and even liberals like me are nodding their head. The Democrats? I think they know they cannot just issue another blanket SIP order. That is why Gov. Newsom is opening the door here in California but only a crack. I don’t put it past the Democrats to make another huge mistake though and try and keep things closed longer.

You know what all of this is going to get? It is going to get four more years of Trump. And it means I will never vote for another Democrat for as long as I live.

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COVID-19 – Sixth Update

It is 9:01 AM on Sunday May 17th, 2020. There was a gentle rain last night which combined with the usual cool temperatures makes the outdoors seem clean and fresh.

I have just finished another Lapham’s Quarterly, this one on Memory, and had intended to start writing my notes. However, I wanted to get a quick blurb down about exactly where I’m writing. As I’ve written about previously, we’ve rearranged and greatly organized many rooms of our house. One of those rooms is the little hallway on the second floor between the master bedroom and walk-in closet. We had never utilized this space and had just stuck an unused couch here which nobody ever sat on. Now, that couch is a perfect fit in the game room and we’ve moved the bookshelf, an unused recliner and end table into this hallway. What it has created is a fantastic little reading nook and it is here that I plan on writing most of my entries henceforth.

Having a nice space like this really helps increase the desire to write. As everyone knows I love a good ambiance but I had never made the connection to concentrate on making a nice place to write. It was always just the tools such as a computer and a blog while neglecting the atmosphere.

I think one of the hurdles to this realization is that I’ve always focused on having everyone in the family room. I felt that being together trumped everything as it was good for the family. Even if everyone is playing their own games or into their own electronic devices it is good to be together. What I’ve realized however is it is also mentally beneficial to also not be together all of the time. I feel slightly guilty sneaking away to my little refuge up here on the 2nd floor but I cannot read, nor write with everyone around me making noise and calling my name every 2 minutes. Here, I’m in my recliner, I have music for reading playing, there are three windows open providing fresh air and a few rays of sunlight are streaming through the leftover rain clouds above. This is a paradise for me and I cannot believe I’ve lived in this house for 10 years and now have only gotten the idea to make a space like this.

That gets me thinking about the nature of ideas in general. There must be so many great ideas that are floating around, never to be grasped and pulled into existence. If COVID-19 didn’t happen I may have never had my little reading nook. It is the accumulation of thoughts and ideas acted upon that shape entire lives. I find that most people fall into routines, habits, life-streams and in a negative sense, ruts from which most never change or escape. It is as though they sleepwalk through life. It is only in times of great change that can shake many out of these boring and worn paths. For me in my youth it was changing my entire country of residence. Now that I am mid-life it is changing up the rooms of my home. Although the difference in experiences brought between these two is quite extreme they both serve to make life a little more exciting. Changing up the routine also spurs new ideas and a momentum can build making life new and fun again. Conversely, when we fall into routines and there is no change, life becomes rather boring.

I could go on and on but I’d like to get a family update post in as well as at least touch on my thoughts on Lapham’s Quarterly – Memory. But a workout is also on the menu for this morning. I have to say, for being stuck inside I certainly have a pretty busy schedule. I would think that a time like this would allow me to just sit and watch Netflix shows on my couch. That never seems to happen.

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COVID-19 – Fifth Update

It is 8:34 AM on Friday, May 15th, 2020. I’ve been pretty busy with work these past two weeks, have everything done and so it is a slow Friday morning.

It is May which was my favorite month throughout my childhood. One of the reasons is it is my birthday month but the other is it is when Ohio started to get nice weather, the flowers were in bloom and school was ending soon. I’ll always remember the tulips blooming in our garden, being able to finally wear shorts to school and the excitement that summer was on the way.

May has much less of an impact on me now. I no longer really care for birthdays, the weather is nice year around, work does not stop with the coming of summer and we do not have tulips planted. Yes, it is May here but in my adulthood there is very little to distinguish this month from any other. I have to make a mental effort to appreciate it and I think I should plant some tulips.

As for COVID-19, it really has not affected me too much thus far. I have a nice house, a gym, a view, I work from home and have had many projects keeping me busy. However, I’ve started to realize that there is a serious existential threat, like a slow moving train crash which could affect me greatly. Nobody yet knows what the airlines will look like later this year but we’re now starting to see that they may all be drastically downsized. It is worrisome to think that the job might not be there at the end of the year. I’m in corporate sales and it is our job to bring in the money, but if business travelers aren’t flying then my job isn’t very secure.

I’m quite certain that this COVID-19 experience, sheltering in place and loss of jobs is creating a massive amount of mental problems. I don’t believe we understand the scale of it yet as we’re currently going through it but the stress of not having a job, or fearing for the future must be ravaging the minds of a good 30% of the population pretty severely.

As for me, my mental state is fine although I do wish I could relax a bit more. My mind is always in overdrive but that is more due to the nature of my job and the never end “sense of urgency” in business-speak, that is part of it. There is always one more thing to do and the job is never done. Outside of work there is very little rest in normal times either. There is always one more activity, one more thing we have to do and it never ends. That is why I get so irked when I’m given a hard time about taking a day off from karate to just chill. For most people, life seems to be all about being born, doing a bunch of shit day in and day out so you can “advance” and then one day you die.

So for me, the only time I can really have my mind relax is through my morning meditation which I love, and opening the occasional bottle of wine and drinking the whole thing. These seem to be the only two ways I can get my mind to relax. Exercise and working out is also critical but that makes me feel good and even more energized instead of being relaxed.

Even in this time of Shelter-In-Place I find I can never really relax although I’m forced to stay home. My mind always urges me on to the next thing. This is not necessarily a bad thing as our home is now more organized and efficient than ever before.

So far we’ve:

  1. Cleaned out and organized the garage
  2. Fixed the leak in the gym as well as organized it better
  3. Moved my oldest to a new room and my youngest into his brothers old room
  4. Changed the office room into a game room
  5. Created a reading nook upstairs
  6. Cleaned out the crawl space so we could use it as storage

I’ve also taken care of a number of little things that usually get overlooked. These involve:

1. Cleaning the grill, ordering new flavorizer bars since the old ones were rusted through and fixing the igniter
2. Finally attaching my wife’s little wardrobe/mirror thing to the wall as it should be.
3. Cleaning out the closet.

And finally, today I’ll clean out the upstairs crawl space so we could use that as storage as well. Yes, the house has never looked better and it is all thanks to the fact we cannot go anywhere and my mind will never let me rest.

So aside from being overactive, my mind is at peace with the world, the past, the present and the future. For this mindset I give all the credit to meditation as well as preparation/savings. The meditation shows me that life is beautiful and short. No matter what happens, I am alive now, I am fortunate, and one day I will die. In addition to meditation I also practice mindfulness which is simply taking short moments throughout the day to appreciate the present moment. I notice the birds, the flowers, the sunshine, the beautiful day and breathe it all in.

The other side of this is that I’m also prepared. We’ve always bought in bulk, I have savings should I be furloughed, we have what we need and could hunker down for a long while. Also, I’m confident I could find another job and if things are really bleak we also have Japan as a secondary option. Life is fine and it is thanks to a serene mindset on the big picture as well as being prepared.

Again, this is the first week of the crisis where I’m thinking my job could be in jeopardy if things do not improve and airlines need to massively downsize. I’m still an optimist and think things will be very slow but eventually turn out OK and I will be able to keep this dream job of mine. If not, then that is the way life goes and I’ll adapt.

Finally, I received some sad news yesterday. There were two deaths, one was my Dad’s high school best friend and the other was Matt Hite, someone I knew from my childhood. Matt was five years older than me and his sister was in my sister’s class so I knew who he was. The only thing I remember about him was he wore a tuxedo t-shirt which I thought was awesome. He was also kind to the younger kids such as myself. In grade school one generally avoided the older kids because some could be mean. However a few were kind and I’ll always remember those who were not only kind, but even bothered acknowledging me.

Well, the time is now 9:20 AM and I need to accomplish some things.

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COVID-19 – Fourth Update

It is 6:40 AM on Thursday April 30th, 2020. There is a dense fog outside which is so thick it is almost like a light rain. Since there hasn’t been rain for a few weeks and none in the forecast the moisture is welcome.

The shelter-in-place order was just extended until the end of May. This must be the last month because otherwise I think there would be social unrest. As for my personal feelings, I do understand that this is a nasty bug but we must get on with our lives. The dialogue was that the cure cannot be worse than the actual bug and that is what it is becoming. There are 3.8 million unemployment claims in the USA. Those who are vulnerable should be the ones to shelter, it should not be a blanket order for everyone as livelihoods, families and individuals are being destroyed by stopping our means to make a living.

I wonder what is going on in homes across the world. For us, this is relatively painless as we have a wonderful home, a strong family, a home gym to get exercise and are smart when it comes to distance learning or other activities to improve our lives. However, for many, school and work provides structure for many people. More homes in the USA are in complete shambles and it is much more than we care to admit. It must be a nightmare for so many to be stuck at home in a toxic environment day after day. Even in my son’s own online video conference there are a few who regularly fail to show up. If the parents cannot even get school for their kids in order I wonder how messy every other aspect of their lives are.

I never realized how much of a role school plays in peoples lives. I had only considered it a learning environment. But what I’ve learned is that it is also a free food source, a safe environment and a refuge which provides more security and comfort than their own homes do.

For the adults work also provides structure and helps keep them from damaging activities which they would otherwise fall into without a routine they must adhere to. With our daily routines we each have our own worlds and have until recently spent the majority of our time away from the world of our families. Now, that formula has been abruptly ended and many are discovering just how much or how little they like being with their own families. Some had joked about a “quarantine baby boom” after this is over but I think the reality is that yes, there could be a baby uptick but also quickly followed by “quarantine divorce.”

For my own situation we have always been close. I work from home and my wife is a stay at home mother. In the house we all spend the majority of our time in the family room. None of us really do things individually, all activities include the entire family to some extent. So this quarantine really is nothing difficult. Yes, there is slightly more tension from time to time but nothing significant. For other families though I wonder what they must be going through. We even saw a police car at the neighbors the other day. It is a house where we can sometimes hear the mother yelling from across the street. I don’t imagine living in that house is very pleasant.

I’ve gotten a lot accomplished in this quarantine. I’ve cleaned and straightened the garage. Fixed a leak that was noticeable in the gym ceiling. Crated a gaming room as well as a library/reading nook. Hung drapes in my shed/office so make a background suitable for video conferencing. Bought a green screen and installed barely noticeable hooks in the ceiling to hang it from. Reorganized online accounts (Microsoft) so things sync and work together better. Updated computer systems. Improved our “smart home” with LED lights. I’ve also done a lot of other miscellaneous things that generally make our lives more organized and there are many other things I could do in terms of organization that one normally doesn’t have time for (computer bookmarks, YouTube playlists for example).

What I really haven’t had time for is to just sit down and enjoy everything. I’d like to get more reading done, use my VR a bit more, become a better gamer by using the PC instead of the Switch to play Fortnite and establish myself in Animal Crossing.

Again, things in the home are fine but there are things in regards to COVID that remain to be seen. The biggest existential threat is if business will pick up again or not after this is over. I should be fine until September but the travel world could look very different post-COVID. I still remain optimistic but if business travel does not pick up then that would be a big issue. We also take a yearly trip to Japan but we’re 90% sure we will have to cancel this year. The reason is we wouldn’t want to pass anything on to our family there and all of the activities we usually do involve meeting people and going places. We do not want to pass anything on to anyone and most of our activities involve meeting people.

However, not going to Japan creates other opportunities and we could take a trip somewhere else where the COVID threat has largely passed. I need something to look forward to so it is just a matter of picking somewhere exciting and getting the wife’s approval. The wife has a tendency to lean towards no for new ideas, different ways of doing things or grand visions. She is of the “we don’t need that, we can’t do that” sort of mindset whereas I am the opposite. This is one of the areas that cause a bit of friction I was speaking about earlier. However, as I deal with people everyday I’ve learned how to approach her best with these sort of things. The first is to just plant the seed, mention it casually without making any determination to get her thinking about it. Then, gently and subtly approach the subject again at later times to see if she has warmed up to the idea at all. Usually she’ll talk with her friends and research the internet. One thing that is certain is that she’ll always take the opinions of her friends more highly over my own. She is cautious. I think Japanese by nature are conservative people not liking to do anything out of tradition, routine or schedule.

Let’s take sports for example, and this also is the same for many parents I know. If there is class three days a week then you must go three days a week. There is much resistance to skipping even one class because you need a break. You know what the common thread is with all of these parents? They do not actually do the activity. They only watch so they don’t know how difficult and strenuous the activity is. All they know is that there is class and you must go. They do not realize or understand that breaks are sometimes needed. The one thing they are successful with in this approach is completely draining all enjoyment or desire to actually do the activity. It becomes something you have to do and not something you want to do. This is also a source of friction but again, not really too severe.

Well, the time is now 7:15 and the day will soon be starting. Today there are a number of video conferences and I must also prepare some updated presentations. I am actually busier now than I was pre-COVID as far as work is concerned. Before, I could go on autopilot. I had all my presentations finished, I had a systematic approach to scheduling meetings and internal work was minimal. Now, information is changing daily, I must continually update presentations, the internal work greatly increased and my entire customer base is changing so I’ll need to get my meeting pipeline rebuilt. This is just fine with me however as I’m very lucky to work for a wonderful company that actually looks after its employees. I would work for them for free (for a time) if they asked and that is something I wouldn’t do for every other company I’ve ever worked for.

Additional Projects for today:
Buy my son some new games to try and wean him a bit off of Fortnite
Encourage him to write in his new blog/journal