How have you been? 🌤
When the virus took hold of the world, one of my first thoughts was that I was going to need a system that would prevent me from going crazy or becoming too sad.
I worried that certain blues and issues, which would be hiding in the backwaters of my regular life, would now surface into plain sight, only magnified by the new reality and void.
Yet, when this happened, I didn’t want to numb these emotions with bad habits and avoidance mechanisms.
I resolved to be observant and accepting, but I also began thinking about how to take some control over the situation, and make these restricted times, times of growth, and value.
That’s when I decided to renew my commitment to building good habits.
I get up at dawn and take a walk to the sunrise.
I do my rehabilitation exercises.
I make time to learn new coding skills.
I speak Spanish to G whenever I remember.
I call my parents. And my parents-in-law.
I have long talks with my friends.
My commitment to deepening good habits is also crowding out the shallow, superficial, and flimsy ones. I trimmed down my social media usage to mostly none, canceled my Netflix account, went back to ignoring the news altogether, and moderated my drinking and shopping habits.
With nowhere to go, and life becoming more routine, I’ve had no excuse not to stick to forming good habits. I’m keeping to them better than ever, and at last, some practices are becoming ingrained into my life.
The good habits have acted as a safety net for whatever came up in the emptiness. And, at the same time, they turned out to be the essentials that are making my life fuller.
I updated Read 100 Business Books with five new titles (totaling 60 books now):
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You
- Make Good Art
- How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big
- What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20
- Deep Work
A lot has happened since my last coding update in February: I worked on a React app with seven other women, did more than fifteen pairings/mentoring sessions last month alone, and I joined the team at TourHero as a UI engineer. I’ll also be giving a workshop for Girls in Tech in May (for which you can sign up here).
If you’re interested in a more detailed overview, have a look at my updated web dev bucket list.
Band I’ve Been Playing On Repeat
🎸 The Paper Kites
If you want to check out just one of their songs, try Living Colour. Hat tip to Mr. G for discovering the band.
The Documentaries That Made Me Teary-Eyed
🎬 The Salt of The Earth, I Am Not Your Negro, and The Biggest Little Farm
Three weeks ago, I started a movie club with two friends. And these are the documentaries that each of us recommended—ordered in the degree of most tissues used.
🧶 Cheeky fact: When one friend mentioned that she doesn’t really watch movies, we morphed from being a movie club to The Knitting Club. Nobody’s knitting, though. The idea is to have rotating themes. For the upcoming round, we’ll be testing recipes.
Favorite New App
🐝 Pure Nature – 3D Soundscapes by Lang Elliott
I listen to thunderstorms falling into a Saturday siesta, the waves while easing into yoga postures, and I let crickets guide my writing. Make sure to listen to Lang’s nature recordings on your headphones, though, since the sound isn’t nearly as spacious and real when played on speakers.
On My Wine Wish List
🍷 Pittacum Aurea 2012, Spain
Mr. G was offered a taste of the Aurea by Chip Steel, the sommelier of Preludio. After which, I, to Mr. G’s envy, ordered a full glass for myself. It was the last wine I drank before the city went on lockdown. The same evening, Chip also introduced me to the Movia Sauvignon 2012 from Slovenia, which was good enough for me to suggest a family wine trip for when we can travel again.
Skincare Product I’m Loving
⭐️ Retinol 1% in Squalane by The Ordinary
This retinol solution is keeping my skin looking great. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to build up your skin’s tolerance for retinol, lest you end up donning a lobster look. I started with the 0.2% solution, followed by 0.5%, and only then moved to the highest strength of 1%. Repeat after me: “I will not start with the highest retinol strength.”
Quote I’m Pondering
Wherever you go, there you are. –Jon Kabat-Zinn