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  • My Habit Plan

    I'm reading the Zen Habits book on mastering change and have to pick a habit I'd like to cultivate. I'm choosing writing for 10 minutes every morning after showering and breakfast (and before any email/social media) in hopes that I can finally build some momentum on writing a book I'd like to complete this year. As part of the plan, I have to publicly voice my commitment so that's what this post is. Next time you see me, please ask me how it's going and make me feel bad if I'm not staying faithful.

  • McWay Falls in Big Sur, California. ♫ by The Thrills.

  • New Chazzy B

    Many of my favorite artists are dropping albums right now which is making me a happy dude. Toro Y Moi's What For? dropped this week and so far, I'm thinking Lilly is my favorite track. There's something about that hazy, lazy sound that drugs me up real good.

     

  • I can't stop crying

    Sufjan Stevens' Carrie & Lowell is out today. His seventh studio album, it's a rather personal one referencing his mother and stepfather. Even so, I'm powerfully drawn to it and have already cried twice (once in public) while listening to track six, Fourth of July. I don't cry very often, but I'm relating to it through the passing of my own mother from cancer. Like the lyrics say, I would have said or done anything to raise her from the dead, but I could also imagine her asking me why I was crying and just to make the most of my life. Fuck you for making me cry Sufjan, but also THANK YOU.

  • Monthly Gratitude #3: Empathy

    What I'm grateful for this month is the capacity for empathy. We may assume everyone has a healthy amount of it, but I don't think that's the case. If it was, it's not that we would never hurt others, but I think there would be far less of it going on.

    I believe empathy to be part physical and part acquired or developed. You need an acceptable chemical balance to be able to experience certain emotions, but I also think it can be a skill refined through experience, thought and listening.

    I don't claim to be among the very best (it's more like I aspire to improve), but I am aware of other people's emotions and am able to project how that would make me feel in the same situation. I would rather understand where someone is coming from than make hasty judgments.

    Even though this can put you at a disadvantage with respect to your career or financial gain (I think there are many sociopaths that fare well in business precisely because they are unable to have empathy), I'm fine with that. I'd rather be able to make an emotional connection with my fellow earthlings than pretend that I'm taking a fortune beyond the grave. I'm thankful for whatever combination of genetics, upbringing and life expereinces have brought me to this point.