Photo by Steve Holden**
Per my November and December posts -- my Mom's sudden and unexpected passing on October 31, 2018 -- this event is still consuming most of my energy and attention. I wouldn't be functioning though if it wasn't for the support, prayers, comfort, and help I've been getting from my faith in Christ, family, life group, church, friends, co-workers, CHVRCHES Podcast Fans, etc. Thank you all very much. I recently found this picture (it was a 35mm slide that I converted to digital) of my Mom with her brother Ludwig in Germany (probably early 1960s before she left German for the United States):
As I post this, my daughter and I are making a trip up to Sacramento/Roseville to work on a couple of key projects, and spend time with my sister's family before driving back to San Diego later in the week.
One of the micro stories I vaguely reference last month that was a blessing, but is both sad and happy. When I called my one of my childhood friend's Mom about my Mom passing, she had to share that her husband had passed away unexpectedly earlier in October, and his celebration of life service was the same weekend I was up there. It was wonderful to attend, and spend time with friends I have not seen in years, and reflect & share about both unexpected deaths. God does work in ways that baffles me at times.
December was great. I love, and my family loves, Christmas ... so we made the most of it all month. This year's Christmas Party at our house was one of the highlights. I made four crock-pots of chili, and most of it was gone by the end of the night!
I managed to end 2018 with a heartfelt CHVRCHES Fan Podcast. In November, Chvrches releases a great acoustic EP called the Hansa Sessions that I adore. I already knew this (I'm a little bit bias), but for an electronic synthesizer centric band -- they are really talented.
I believe I have had a bit of a breakthrough thanks to regular pilates classes and daily stretches as the numbness in my left foot related to my bulged disk (L5-S1) [see July Update] has gone away completely some days. I haven't figured out a pattern, but as I write this, I currently don't have any numbness that I use to have all the time.
I am still loving the new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, and the new Acer Chromebook Flip 13 has been working flawlessly. I highly recommend both of them.
There is not a lot on the horizon for January 2019. There might be a work trip back to Washington, DC, and our family is going to host some Australian high school students at our house for a week or so. That should be exciting!
I can't say more about trying this Hof Breathing Method that Kevin Rose posted on Instagram if you are feeling stressed out, or want to go to sleep after practicing the steps. It has really worked wonders for me.
One of my most read and reference blog posts I have ever posted is "How I use Google Keep to do Getting Things Done (GTD) in my personal system." As of yesterday though (Sunday is my weekly review day), I moved my Personal GTD system to Nirvana. And I am not looking back! More updates probably next month, but if you are struggling with your GTD tool, then you might want to try Nirvana. Here is a link to a recommended setup guide ($10).
Quote I'm Thinking About
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." - Gandhi
**This photo was taken on December 26, 2018 at the San Diego Zoo. There is a new walkway near the large birds of prey that links the pandas (at the bottom of a hill) to the polar bears (near the top of a hill). This was part of the walk way. It was very new (less than a week old?).