Over the past year I’ve been working to move out of a state of mind full, and into a state of mindful. To be honest it’s not easy for me. I’d taken on a tremendous number of responsibilities – not the least of which is running a company – and my nature is to leap at every opportunity that presents itself. I’m a generalist at heart and genuinely interested in so many different things. I also have an incredible capacity to work, which is super easy to do when you care about and like what you’re doing.
I have a lot of conversations with myself these days about what projects to take on and which ones to put on back burner (lord knows I can’t drop them entirely. That would kill me.) I focus more on being in the moment and being present. I take time out of schedule to do fun activities and go on new adventures. Relatively speaking, I minimize new acquisitions and prioritize minimalist living.
And I’ve found that mindful living is so much more relaxing. I’m not 100% there yet, but we’re steadily decluttering life, cultivating tranquility, and focusing on mindfulness.
If you’ve been on this journey, I’d love to hear your experience.
(The picture of Graham & Winston we included in the photo book. All those little white petals are from flowers that are killing Winston’s allergies. He’s now on a regular dose of Zyrtec because his eyes get so fiery red. Poor guy rubs his face all over the carpet trying to scratch his eyes.)
We’re finally getting to see the difference between the weather in Houston (warmer and humid) and Portland (still cool and wet, but not humid). Lately we’ve been working long hours trying to clean our desks before we travel to China. It’s not a small task – I don’t think I’ve had a clean desk since I started NM 4 years ago – but with enough diligence I think we’ll just about get there.
(No make-up aka Portland style.)
We’ve gotten lots of gifts lately and can’t wait to set up WX’s bed in our PDX apartment. Last week we sent a care package to China with some pictures of us, our home, and the pets. Also had a United aircraft picture in there so we could use it as a narrative to explain to WX through pictures “what’s going to happen next.” We sent that along with a big box of See’s Lollipops over to China. We hardly sent anything – less than most families! – and the shipment still cost a fortune!
What would Socrates do? – WSJ subscription may be required. I have mixed feelings about this article. On one hand I think it’s mighty presumptuous to assume “poor” people need a moral education – as if a moral education would lift them out of poverty and “civilize” them. That sounds like something straight out of the 1800s. Lack of morality and poverty don’t go hand-in-hand. At the same time, access to opportunities to experience “high culture” IS a typically consequence of poverty. But it’s lack of opportunity, not lack of morality. The pursuit of education in the humanities should be valued not for it’s morality, but because this type of education creates adults who are able to think critically, who have a variety of experiences from which to draw, and – most of all – because it produces a well-rounded person. Educating poor people in the humanities as a method of promoting morality is just condescending. (Also, Socrates is my favorite. And for the record I’ve read Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides and Mill – and many, many more.)
I used to ask myself this all the time. “It is absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you do not like,” says Alan Watts. Amen and hallelujah to that.
Now I ask myself, “if I had all the money in the world, what projects would I work on?” I don’t have all the money in the world, but those are the projects I work on in the extra non-billable hours of my week. Hours and hours a week, week after week, month after month, year after year. Relentless pursuit to finish projects that interest me.
And then things like this come into being. And it’s the best thing in the world.
We have such good news: we’re in the final stages of adopting a little boy in China. His name is Wenxuan and he’s 2.5 years. He’s in an orphanage in Jiangxi Province in China. After a nail biting few months of waiting for China to give us final approval, on Friday we got our official letter [...]
I’ve been spending a lot of time in Houston lately, which is nice. I’ve missed my friends, my office, and knowing my way around. Sometimes in Portland when I head out to Target, I forget I’m not in Houston. It’s so nice to go into auto-pilot and get to the right place without any confusion. [...]
Last week we got to visit several homes in San Antonio. Many of them had gorgeous – if a bit outrageous – floor tiles like these throughout the house. Top 10 Fiction Books of 2012 – A little late, but I’m now lining up my spring 2013 reading list. I’ve got quite a backlog – [...]
Welcome to the family Winston. Here’s a few thinks I’ve collected over the past month or so. Marginalized populations & for lack of a better term, those who aren’t: What’s “white privilege”? (Quora) – We’ve been doing a lot of thinking and talking around the idea of “white privilege” after we were introduced to an [...]
As part of our very long vacation, we’re spending Christmas in Portland this year. Happily that means escaping the snow in Houston, too. (I’m always pleased to bits when I can say it’s colder in Houston than PDX.) Merry Christmas to you all!
So far my favorite thing about Portland has been fall. I first noticed the leaves changing in August, and it’s November and we’re still treated to beautiful sites. This picture is from a visit to Macy’s (ladies must have their eye shadow!) where I found them growing on a trellis on the parking garage. Can [...]
My name is Angela Schmeidel Randall. I'm a entrepreneur, traveler, & foodie. I live in a 3400 sq. ft. traditionally styled townhouse in Houston, Texas (which unfairly gets a bad rap). I also live in a 700 sq. ft. apartment on the upper floor of a modern high-rise in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon (which deserves its reputation as weird). Living in two places is a new adventure for us and much less glamourous than it sounds. (Mostly it's exhausting spending that much time on an airplane.) I write about my travels, food and the things that interest me.