Weekly Update – #22 – Happy Birthday!

Hi everyone, this week I celebrate my 31st birthday. It was bittersweet, since, for the second time this year, our whole family caught a nasty virus. My wife and I put a lot of energy into nursing the twins back to good health and we also caught their germs. This whole things has drained my energy and I’m striving to return to 90% by Monday.

WTF! It’s only February and we’ve been through this common cold thing twice this year. Why is wellness eluding us? It really sets me back and slows me down.

Running

On the running front, I don’t have much to report this week. It was pretty much a zero week for me. After last week’s 10 miler I was feeling good the next few days. I’m happy with the recovery.

Reading

This week I returned to a daily practice: reading a favorite book called The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday. This book is a collection of 366 lessons from Stoic thinkers, and the idea is to read and practice one lesson each day. I keep it near my bed and read it first thing in the morning. Here’s an excerpt I enjoyed, from page 59:

February 19th – THE BANQUET  OF LIFE

“Remember to conduct yourself in life as if at a banquet. As something being passed around comes to you, reach out your hand and take a moderate helping. Does it pass by you? Don’t stop it. It hasn’t yet come? Don’t burn in desire for it, but wait until it arrives in front of you. Act this way with children, a spouse, toward position, with wealth–one day it will make you worth of a banquet with the gods.”

-Epictetus, Enchiridion, 15

The lesson is to be patient, wait for your turn. And also to be humble and generous. Avoid taking too much advantage when it’s your turn, and invite others to join at the bounty table.

I also received a few books as gifts. Thank you friends! I have new titles on my reading list. I’m excited to up-level my leadership skills and my writing style.

  • Shackleton’s Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer by Stephanie Capparell and Margot Morrell
  • The Associated Press Stylebook 2019 by The Associated Press

Writing

This week I’m proud to report I finally resumed by work blog called Torrey’s Weekly Report. It had been nagging the back of my mind for months. I realized the core purpose of the project is to share what I’m learning and share what I’m working on, with my work network. It’s very similar to the blog you’re reading now, with a different audience. I realized I’m developing a passion for communications.

This post marks four weeks in a row of weekly posting. Hooray!


This week’s photo is the Goodyear blimp flying over our neighborhood.

Thanks to readers I learned the bird photo I shared last week is of an adult Red-shouldered Hawk. And, the coloring is unique to California.


Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Weekly Update – #20 – February 9th, 2020

Hi, I’m Torrey. I’m a runner, a reader, and a writer, among many other things. Each week I take some time to share my experiences running, reading, and writing. Thanks for stopping by.

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This Week

On the running front, my tracking app tells me I ran 11.8 miles this week. No PR’s broken or milestones hit, but I’m happy with the progress and proud to say I’m back in the habit. I realized something during my long Sunday-morning run. I enjoy the experience of exploring new places more than the running itself. Running long distances just enables going new and interesting places, off the beaten path and off road. Repeating the same routes over and over doesn’t bring the same level of enjoyment.

On the reading front, I’m enjoying two books. A lot of my free time has been soaked up by little computer programming side projects in the last few weeks, but I did pick up some books to check out. I continue to practice Ramit Sethi’s book buying policy: if you think about buying a book, just buy it.

Here’s an outstanding excerpt from one of my open books.

“But the greatest battle of all is with yourself–your weaknesses, your emotions, your lack of resolution in seeing things through to the end. You must declare unceasing war on yourself.”

That passage comes from the preface of The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene. The author is known for another similarly titled book The 48 Laws of Power. Greene draws from historical examples to illustrate principles. In this case, 33 different principles to help you think and act strategically. The passage I shared above resonates with me, because it speaks to the question: how many times have I let myself down?

The second book I’m reading is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, translated by Gregory Hays. Before now I never really thought about how important the translator and translation is. This is probably the third time I’ve tried reading Meditations. The text is so old, it’s in public domain and you can find free ebooks. But, each time I tried reading it I found myself bogged down in the awkward language of the translation. The Gregory Hays translation was recommended by Ryan Holiday and Shane Parrish.

So far, I am not disappointed with this version of Meditations. I’m still making my way through the preface, which provides a summary of Marcus Aurelius’s life. What an awe-inspiring life, from orphan to emperor of Rome, and all the while a humble philosopher. It’s amazing that his meditations have survived through the ages and we can all read them today.

On the writing front, I’ve re-established by weekly writing habit. This update makes 2 weeks in a row of publishing Weekly Updates here on Torrey’s blog. Let’s see how long it can continue. Woot!


Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great week! If you like what I wrote, please follow or subscribe. I enjoy reading and responding to your comments, too.


The photo is a brilliant flower which bloomed in our backyard on the day of Chinese New Year. It’s a happy sign of good luck.