O! With Dad!

Finally saw Cirque du Soleil’s O. With my Dad, no less! He was in Las Vegas for a few days with a couple golfing buddies, and was worried that he’d be bored in the evenings when his buddies were off gambling.

“I’d rather see a show,” he said.

Vegas is a short flight from where I live so off I went, for dinner and a show with Dad.

I flew in Thursday afternoon. Dad came by after golfing and we walked to dinner. He marveled at how much the Strip had grown since his last visit over 20 years ago. He also couldn’t believe how much people loved alcohol these days.

We arrived at the Bellagio at the top of the hour and he got to watch the water show. We continued inside for a buffet dinner. Crab legs and caviar! We didn’t really care for the caviar mini waffles, but Dad laughed as he ate it because it felt ridiculous and fancy.

After dinner, we strolled through the lobby to admire the Chihuly flowers, then through the current incarnation of the conservatory. Breathtaking! I could tell Dad thought so too, and I was happy to be sharing the experience with him.

Back outside for a walk. The temperature was perfect. We rounded the corner to the fountain just as another show was about to start. The sun had set during dinner, and this time the show was beautifully lit.

Then it was showtime. Finally, O!

I’d known to expect water, but never would I have imagined O’s swimming pool / stage. One minute someone’s diving into the pool from 60 feet in the air, the next minute a clown is running across it, as if walking on water. A technical marvel, the O theatre.

Friday morning, I had dim sum with Dad and his friends before heading to the airport. It was nice to meet them, after having heard about them for years.

This was probably the most expensive ~24 hour trip I’ve ever taken. But how often do I get to spend time like that with my Dad? Worth every penny.

Elephant Adventure 8: Gratitude at the End of the Day

This exercise is not much different from what I did for 30×7, in which I recorded up to three things I was grateful for at the end of each day.

In this Adventure, I recorded five things I was grateful for at the end of each day. As with last time, I was grateful for all sorts of things, large and small. Gratitude for the people in my life was a common theme, as was gratitude for who I am and what I can do.

The timing of this Adventure made for an interesting thread related to hockey, my concussion, and how I processed my new reality:

Concussion Day -2: Midweek hockey. Even if it’s ridiculously late.

Concussion Day 0: That I can be adult enough to pull myself out of hockey when I hurt myself.

Concussion Day 1: Truly facing the possibility of never playing hockey again. And being able to consider it.

Concussion Day 2: Being prepared enough to be at peace with never playing hockey again.

Concussion Day 3: More gratitude about having had hockey than sadness about having to leave it.

Concussion Day 4: Many future options now that I have newly freed energy and time from hockey.

Concussion Day 6: That I hold a positive outlook, hope, and excitement in the face of giving up hockey – something I am legitimately grieving over.

I found this quote from the final discussion to be very appropriate:

The past is gone. We cannot change its outcome, except by changing ourselves, and that can only be done in the present.

That really does sum up my week.

I am grateful for the timing of this exercise.

Elephant Adventure 9: Listen to Sounds

Larger Than Life

I saw my great-grandmother in a dream this morning. I was worried about her, so I went to her apartment, searching. I’m often searching for her in my dreams. Sometimes I don’t find her.

This time, she showed up as I left the apartment. We shared a long hug. No words were exchanged. No words are ever needed.

I remember thinking she felt bigger than she’d been in real life when I hugged her. She’s always larger than life in my dreams.

Today I feel grateful. Grateful to have had her in my life, and grateful to continue to feel her presence, brainwaves or “visits” or whatever.

30×7 Complete

This past month was totally worthwhile. It actually made me more mindful throughout the day. Remember how I failed at being mindful in 30×4? I just needed a concrete reason to do it.

I thought it would be interesting to list the things I was grateful for this month. I’ll group them by size.

Little Things

4.5 years of REVERSE commute from Sunnyvale to San Ramon.
Those precious moments on a cross-continent flight when your aisle seat neighbor is in the bathroom and you get to stand and stretch.
A beautifully prepared bowl of homemade wonton noodle soup with miso broth, peas, corn, spinach, and five spice slow cooked beef. Mom made the base ingredients, Dad did the artful assembly.
That it was cold enough in Boston to require long sleeves during my entire stay.
Iced Americanos.
My giant work monitor.
Little woodland creatures outside my office window.
Happy knees.
Cool sheets.

Medium Things

Air travel.
Strolling down the Greenway with Mom and sis, taking time to sample the food trucks and admire the flowers along the way.
Getting to say thank you.
Contact lenses.
My new commute.
Foam ball.
That flakey peanut cake snack/candy/dessert I just inhaled 4 servings of.
Bikes lanes.
The internet.
My friends’ kids.
Local bike shops.
Music. Art.
Clean water.
People who see how to improve things… and act to improve it.

Big Things

The people in my life.
Growing up in the US instead of HK.
My parents.
My health.
Everyone and everything that has led me to who I am, where I am, what I do, and what I have today.
A not very fixed mindset.
Quality of life.
People and time.
Having hobbies I’m passionate about that challenge me.
My job.
Access to good food.
A busy schedule.
Witnessing happiness, love, and gratitude.

Huge Things


Not much of a surprise there. Little Things tend to be specific, Medium Things tend to be more general, Big Things define who I am, and that one Huge Thing should be pretty self explanatory.

Let’s hope I continue to be more mindful even after this month.

Gratitude Day 31

Little Thing: Cool sheets.

This one seems a bit odd since I’m all about getting super warm and cozy when I want to go to sleep, but there’s something really nice about getting super warm and cozy and then reaching an arm or leg out to a cool part of the bed.

Medium Thing: People who see how to improve things… and act to improve it.

Ideas are cheap. We all have great ideas, some more than others. But how many of us work to make our great ideas a reality? Kudos to those of us who do, because without you, we would all stagnate.

This final Thing brought to you by Light Table. As of this post, 16 hours left to contribute!

Gratitude Day 30

Medium Thing: Clean water.

I was going to say water, but that felt like a bit of a cop out, although I really do appreciate water, in the same way I appreciate air.

But *clean* water, that truly is something to be grateful for, because there are a lot of people in this world who don’t have access to it. So every time I enjoy a glass of H2O with a hint of algae from my Brita dispenser or a hot shower for a few more minutes than I should, I will remember to appreciate it extra, like I do non-exhaust-y forest air.

Gratitude Day 29

Medium Thing: Music. Art.

I am grateful for the people in this world who spend their time creating beautiful things. I’m the type who focuses on utility with a touch of ooh, slick. I’m glad we’re not all like that. I’m glad there are people who spend their time creating, be it music, art, food… Their creations pull me out of my world so I can enjoy theirs.

I’m currently enjoying this world. I also decided tonight to support this world with a subscription.

Gratitude Day 28

Medium Thing: Cows.

Cows are cute. They make funny sounds. They stink. Okay, I’m not grateful for that one. They produce milk, without which I would not be able to enjoy ice cream, cereal, yogurt, kefir, smoothies, cheese, and lots of other yummy things I’m sure. They’re also tasty. Mmm… moo.

Gratitude Day 27

Medium Thing: Local bike shops.

Went to my favorite local bike shop today to order a part for the new bike I’m building. Whenever I come here I’m reminded of how happy I am that they exist. It’s nice to have a place with friendly knowledgeable people to talk to, and where you can see and touch actual products before buying. I always browse around when I visit, and today was no exception. Found a cool jersey, and even though it was cheaper online, I bought it at the shop. Why? Because I want to support that shop so it’ll be around.

I do the same for local hockey shops. Thanks, local shops, for being here for us.

Big Thing: Witnessing happiness, love, and gratitude.

Went to Thunder’s birthday dinner tonight. Seeing what’s important to her, how she feels about people important to her, her gratitude, and her thoughtfulness was humbling and inspiring. I skipped my final tournament game this weekend to go to that dinner, and it was absolutely worth it.

Gratitude Day 26

Medium Thing: My friends’ kids.

I got to meet the mini Poof today, and spent some time playing with Val and Vivi. They are adorable and delightful, and they made my already great day even better.

Huge Thing: Happiness.

Someone asked me how life was today. “It’s good,” I said, but the smile on my face must have said it’s really really good, because she then mentioned something about the cat that ate the canary.

I said life was good because when she asked that question I thought of all the things I like about what I do, where I live, who I interact with, blah blah blah. I could just as well have thought of things I want to change or improve, but I didn’t. I’m grateful that my inclination is to focus on things I’m happy about.

Also today, after I got home from a morning hockey game and a trip to the grocery store, I noticed how happy I felt. Then I was happy that I felt happy.

Okay, okay, I’ll stop now.