A random set of musings about things happening right now.
Contact Clean-up Project
Inspired by Marty (blog link) and with time on my hands, I did a Contact Clean-up project. He warned me it might be cumbersome or frustrating, but it didn’t take as long as expected. I went from 731 contacts to 385. First, why did I ever have 731 contacts to begin with? There were a lot of old company contacts, some so old that they didn’t even work at the company any longer, but I still had only the company contact information. A lot of contact info on people I have not talked to nor heard from in over 6 years. There were even quite a few of “who is this person”? And sadly, there were a few people who are now deceased. I’m not sure if it was liberating to delete old contacts that make no sense to keep anymore, but there was a feeling of closing a door and moving on.
“Buy Hyacinths to Feed the Soul”
I saw this quote in an astrology reading I had done and needed to look it up the reference. I’ve always loved the smell of hyacinths in the spring, but this quote really goes beyond that. It might be my new favorite quote! My astrology reading indicated that I need to spend more time appreciating the beauty of nature… something I’ve been putting on my to-do list all year! Perhaps this fall I can implement that to-do – get out and about in nature more – because putting cut flowers in the house only aggravates hubby’s allergies.
A big part of Retirement Transition is knowing what you want your life to be. Not the societal expectations, not the ”I’ve always done it this way”, but the deep understanding of who you are and/or who you want to be. To this end, I do a lot of “know thyself” discovery work and so was intrigued by a Coursera Class entitled that exact thing (link here). I was expecting pop psychology, which I enjoy. Imagine my surprise when it was all about philosophy and the concept of “discourse & inquiry.
But I continued through the 2-part course and while I don’t think I came out with a better Know Thyself, I did learn a bit about a number of philosophers and early psychoanalysts, both ones I had heard of and ones I had not. A few of my favorite take-aways:
- From Socrates: The “examined life” means not running with the herd but to do self-examination of what we care about, what we value, what we know, and what our limitations are.
- From Sartre: How we experience secondary (non-basic) emotions (like shame, guilt, pride, curiosity, hope, resentment, judgment, etc.) can be changed (modified, cultivated) with determination, consistency & patience – to become “the kind of person I want to be”.
- From Anna Freud: Understand your own mechanisms of defense coping strategies (ex. passive aggressive behavior, repression, projection, even Implicit Bias) to help modify your behavior through awareness (bring the subconscious into consciousness).
- From Damasio: Based on the theory of Practical Rationality (doing an appropriate action based on value ranking, probability, and liking subjectivity), pay attention to how your body reacts (your somatic markers, gut feel, intuition) – literally, do you cringe or smile at something?
It was fun to explore a new area (philosophy) and I plan to continue taking some courses, especially as I take them “my way”. I don’t take quizzes or exams, only do assignments if they sound intriguing, and don’t engage in the chat spaces. Basically I audit the lectures, take notes, and then synthesize my learning into “cliff notes” for myself.
Have you used this pandemic social isolation time to learn about something new?