I’m a Dad, and that’s about the best thing that has ever happened in my life. I have two incredibly wonderful and loving children, and they have truly changed my life.
I remember feeling anxious when we were trying to conceive, and then a panicky fear as I watched my son’s head crown during his birth. And since then I’ve felt a lot of fear and anxiety, along with inexpressible joy and wonder. I’ve felt so tired that I couldn’t speak, and I’ve laughed uncontrollably at being drenched in vomit. I’ve felt anger and hurt. I’ve felt absurdly, stupidly in love. I’ve felt sick with worry, and sobbed happy tears.
I’ve felt … and that has made all the difference.
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I meditated for the first time.
I sat upright, relaxed and comfortably on the sofa, hands on thighs, arms and shoulders loose, feet flat on the floor. I set a timer for five minutes, closed my eyes and I was off.
I focused only on my breathing. In, out, in, out. Only through my nose. In, out, in, out. My mind tried to wander off onto things like the meetings I had scheduled, the emails I needed to write, the projects to check, but I kept forcing myself back to my breathing…. in, out, in, out.
The alarm went off and I was shocked! Was that it? That was five minutes? Continue reading →
Our family vacation this year was spent in New York, visiting family, and in Florida for sun and fun. In Florida, my wife and I agreed on a collection of activities, trips, shows, etc. Some Disney stuff made the list as well as the Kennedy Space Center and a number of good restaurants. List in hand we went forth and vacationed.
After a few activity days, I noticed the kids getting grumpy and tired, although they were sleeping a lot and quite heavily. I asked but they said everything was OK. But of course, it wasn’t … we had overloaded the schedule.
The adults were naturally working hard to enjoy things to keep everyone engaged and entertained, and because the adults seemed to be enjoying things so much, the kids didn’t want to complain. Continue reading →
Fear is a funny thing, but if we pre-judge things that scare us as bad, then we can be missing a large part of an important picture. Fear isn’t good or bad, it just is.
Fear stops us and serves us in equal measure. It can constrain us when choose not do something because it scares us (roller coasters, scuba diving, public speaking), but it can also keep us safe (run from danger, don’t walk down dark alleys). Fear is a normal, human reaction to something unknown or new. It originates in the brain’s limbic system and is part of our most primitive response mechanism: Fight or flight.
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I work in the IT industry and we are obsessed with multi-tasking. Perhaps we look at the processors that power our computers and devices, and assume that emulating them is how we can be most productive and effective. Ability to multi-task appears on many job announcements, and juggling or having a lot of balls in the air is considered a good thing, enviable even. But what exactly do we mean by multi-tasking?
CPUs don’t multi-task. Instead, they simulate parallelism by reducing tasks to a collection of tiny nano-instructions and them executing them really, really fast. This gives the appearance that many different tasks are moving forward simultaneously. But the truth is that, at any one time, one instruction for one task is being executed; only one thing is getting done.
And that’s OK, especially for people. Continue reading →