How to Recharge an Overwhelmed and Over Focused Mind

My last blog entry about focusing was a several months ago. Maybe I focused too much and I had to look at my own blog to remember to enjoy some of the decadence. Of course I’ve done that before for my food blog as well. Forgot a recipe? Refer to my blog. I also recently reread that blog about how to effectively manage facebook, after I re-activated it. Facebook noise is again starting to drown out my own thoughts.

The past few months have been extremely busy with these ‘paths’: forming an LLC, some new networking opportunities to name a few. The new LLC, like anything is a great opportunity for creating: website, logo, business cards and LinkedIn  account and a purpose.   As a result, I have to continually remind myself to enjoy some of the decadence of life, whether nature, people, food, dogs, or whatever. I did manage this to some extent, but this blog reminds me to get back on that path. Internal brainstorming is exhausting. But during the weekends I do try to resume the decadence of what there is.

Key Reminder

I still say walks and drives to unusual places are great ways to disconnect. They are great ways recharge an overwhelmed brain. It is not about functionality. Sure I can sit in my nice home and write and try to charge. But no, I always find writing in coffee shops more effective to clear my mind out. This is what I am doing today. I drove to a further location just to clear my mind. It worked. I am writing.

Although it is a cool weekend, I decided to enjoy the weather.

For some reason the stigma of a flower produces hope in one’s spirit, even if only while visible.  A drive a to a nice park around here provides some great fresh air and a lot great visuals for one’s mind and soul.

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I may not live by an ocean, but at least I can feel like it sometimes.  I drove to a great port with some fun memories of an annual event.  A lot of fresh air and blue sky helped.

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Always the symbolism of the lone trees

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A fun hangout by the port.  While writing this, a very old song popped in my head,  “The sailors say “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl)
“What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl)
“Yeah your eyes could steal a sailor from the sea”  (note, they could, but won’t, not even in the song-reality).

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Back to enjoying the decadence of my car…never fails

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And more decadence of nature…lilacs.  In my former house, I had lilac bushes, but I don’t right now.  A spring has not commenced for me without literally inhaling the lilacs.  So I drove about half an hour to massively inhale the lilacs.

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Another lone tree, but this one is strong and well established.

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More nature symbolism…sometimes beauty is in the oddest places, but does it survive?

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And one of the finest and rarest forms of decadence, fine food made by some decadent and meaningful individuals.

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More fine food that night.

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So on  Sunday, another week of focused chaos approaches.  Occasionally, even I need to reread my blogs to focus on some enjoyment.

 

February Focus

February is time to reevaluate paths on all levels.

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So how does one keep all the decadence that one values going? For the past couple of years, February has been an interesting month of changes for me: a time to figure out which path to take in life; which variables to change, which variables to keep the same. This approach definitely keeps one form being complacent. But it is a lot easier said than done, especially when you want to go in many directions at the same time and have major responsiblities.   While I’m still attempting to focus, the default path is not necessarily the right one. As ideas and paths incubate, here are some fun and decadent ways to sort through it all. This reevaluate  concept applies to career, relationship choices, your location choice, activities you spend time on and pretty much anything

Yes, it helps to have several warm and sunny days in  February.  I could enjoy a few drives with the top down.   But then, this also made me question, why do I live in a cold climate?

Just drive..

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The Question….

Driving back from the gym, still looking for a sign and paths .  You don’t need a convertible to drive …drive the car you have on a fairly open road.  There is something about driving that asserts your independence and ability to survive.

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For me, driving with the top down has been very satisfying.  It’s great for contemplation and it’s also a great mood lifter.  Yes, having some decent weather in February helped. Somewhat chilly but I blasted the heat.  Sometimes the destination was unknown, but I usually landed in a nice place. This area is great for nice drives. Destination:  the lake

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Or a local restaurant I’ve been meaning to visit for the past 8 months:

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Coffee

Yes, I’m addicted to caffeine, but it can be consumed in so many ways and it’s an easy way to  clear your mind, focus, and lift your mood.  It smells great and looks great in many forms:

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Home made espresso

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A warm morning, a nice robust roast from Starbucks brewed at home served in an artsy mug.

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I finally tried a local boulangerie for a capuccino and croissant…for me this never gets old.  Coffeshops are always great places to think.  No piles of laundry needing to be done, no floor that needs to be cleaned,  no dishwasher that needs to be loaded, and so on.

Highlights

Brighten your hair and your outlook  brightens up as well.  At least when you look in the mirror you appear brighter and you seem brighter in the eyes of others.

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Fun Bedazzled Flask

Yes, this one was inspried by Rhianna’s flask show at the Grammy’s.  Seems to have worked for her inspite of the  painfully long show.  Yes,  this is fun.  May not help you focus, but disconnecting for a day helps you focus better the next day.

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Fullfilling Food

Ahi tuna never fails and it’s not even hard or expensive to make at home:

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And organic eggs at midnight instead of some unhealthy food will fuel the brain for Monday

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Although I don’t eat a lot of burgers, I will eat a unique one.  On that one sunny day, I was able to enjoy the great weather and this new restaurant that opened in my neighborhood..

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Sunrise Sunset

Always pay attention; it’s a great decadent show that nature puts on

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Google and Research

Yes, this may sound like a random web surfing exercise, but it does help with your internal brainstorming and a new path may even be identified

Results?

These are just a few ways to reevaluate and shift focus if needed.  Do I have the answers?  No, but I’m still working on it.  Not to copy Amelie (from the french movie Amelie), but sometimes self created  ‘signs’ during these activities can pop up too. And eventually after all this focusing and shifting.

 

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hm….

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Mirror mirror on the wall, finally symmetry for all

Don’t put off installing one of these magnifying mirrors.

We’ve all seen the magnifying mirrors attached to walls  and thought:  “no that’s ok, I think I can use my normal mirror, it works just fine.”  I’ve also had sink top magnifying mirror as well as handheld ones.  Recently I attended a conference, and a the hotel had a magnifying mirror screwed into the wall, next to the usual mirror. Redundant?  NO!  I used it every day  to make sure my eyeliner was symmetric along with my lipstick.  I have often applied eyeliner and lipstick in a rush and noticed in the car or on a selfie that I applied the make up wrong.  After I returned home I kept thinking I should get one but I really have no clue how to install it or to drill and I wasn’t about to spend $200 on a handyman (that’s close to what  they charge these to just show up to install it-great business opportunity but that’s another topic).

Well this weekend I got one installed and just like in Vegas, I love it.  So what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas (yes, my trip was 100% business).  My eyeliner was perfectly symmetric, no smear marks on eyeshadow and I was able to closely examine my eyebrows as well. 

These mirrors are not just women either.  They are great for guys to find stray facial and nose hairs and other random occurrences on their face. 

Winter

How to keep Winter interesting so that by Spring you are sick of your favorite Winter items.

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Could be my favorite winter hat

 

So the holidays are over and we are all (at least in cold climates) waiting for Spring.  But what can one do in the meantime with not much daylight and constant threat of snow?  Wear a lot of winter decadence so that by  March we are somewhat fed up even with our favorite pieces.  For me that’s hats, scarves, and boots.  In fact, I have one more pair of boots on my list yet to acquire.  February is going to be a long  Winter month.

But even during this season, I’ve managed to drive my car with the top down.

 

 

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Not for walking dogs, this is a nice high heeled over the knee boot for going out on the town a bit.  Very comfortable.  From Nordstrom
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Burgundy  boots pick up the drabness of winter, but actually they are a great Fall color.  For early Fall casual, this grey sheepskin hat is perfect (note:  dogfight is an racing term, and not associated with literal dog fights)
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Doc Martens, perfect for walking my dogs or running around….again more of wine/cabarnet color
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Everyday warmth and coziness with this scarf.  I never want to take it off.  Yes, it’s end of January, maybe getting sick of Winter, or just the snow and ice.

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This is my WARMEST hat for those bitter cold windy days.  Perfect for those Siberian nights.

 

Of course the same applies for men.  Wear extreme coats, jackets, and there is nothing wrong with a man wearing an authentic fur ushanka. 

 

 

 

Convertible Driving in the Winter

Buying a hardtop Mercedes AMG Convertible in the Winter is still enjoyable and not insane.

Yes, I can drive my convertible in the Winter.  Just some winter tires and warm fur hats.

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If people can bike during this weather, I can certainly drive my Mercedes AMG with the top down.

Simply roll the windows up, blast the heat, and this model has a ‘scarf’ system so warm air is blasting on my neck as well.  Driving around town at lower speeds is really not a problem at all.

The Decadence of Rings

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I have loved rings since I was a teen.  I wore rings on most of my fingers.  I remember during my freshman year, a professor of mathematics complemented me on all my rings.  This was a memorable complement because the professor’s speciality is known as Ring Theory in Mathematics.  In abstract algebra, ring theory is the study of rings—algebraic structures in which addition and multiplication are defined and have similar properties to those operations defined for the integers.  Source:  Wikipedia

Some years have passed; I changed my major and my love of rings still continues.  I’ve acquired all kinds of rings over my life of all styles, stones, metals and shapes.  But in 2016, I discovered the decadence of Swarovski rings.    While I have  owned Swarovski jewelry before, it was in 2016 that I reconnected with Swarovski. 

During 2016, I have acquired a lot of Swarovski items and someone even said my bedroom dresser looks like a Swarovski store.  Maybe.  I have purchased some beautiful necklaces and pendants but the rings have completely displaced my diamond rings.  I prefer wearing Swarovski crystal rings over my diamond rings.  Not only do they sparkle beautifully, but the design is very innovative and stylish.

Unlike a necklace, I can look at my rings (and bracelets too) while I’m at work. Here are a few favorites (some have been featured on the client gallery) and I’m already eyeing a few more.

The prices are reasonable, but they are addictive.   I wear them for work, fun and a night out.

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Swarovski will put a smile on one’s face.  It’s color, brilliance and always fun.

 

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Ring Theory
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I love the size and design of this ring
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Treat Yo’self-I did.  It’s a stackable ring and can be worn with matching necklace and earrings
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Great for work as well
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Or a conference with a classic Seiko Lasalle Watch (vintage)
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Even elevator rides are fun when you have something to distract

You can also check out their gallery page for additional ideas: Swarovski Gallery

How to Make a Non Decadent Flight Enjoyable

How to make a technically non decadent flight a personal fun and fullfilling experience

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I recently took a flight to a conference  The flight was not decadent since it was an airline that my company works with and its seating arrangements were unusual to me (not preassigned seats).  But react, adjust and adapt.  So while on the flight, I decided to write a blog entry about tips that I found helpful for flying.

I can never sleep on a flight.  Yes, I have dozed off a few times on extremely long flights (e.g, Europe or further). So since I can never sleep on a flight, it’s critical to be well prepared and provide a variety of activities for  myself during the flight.  Here are some tips I found helpful; some pertaining to better planning for next time. Since I don’t sleep, these are critical for my sanity. 

Create

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Blog , write, or create something.  Writing not only reduces stress while riding in the sky but it also helps renew passions. What better time to blog than when there is not much else you can do. 

I would have also worked with some of my photos but since the seats are too close, I didn’t feel like browsing through all my albums.

Wifi-Connect to the World

Although you don’t necessarily need wifi to create, it’s a handly feature.

Check periodically to see if magical wifi appears; hope while flying is crucial in many aspects.   Wifi  on the way to my destination did show up as a choice,  but it didn’t work. 

Then, on the way back,  I realized I can buy wifi.  I wasn’t listening much en route  to the destination. They said I need to refer to some magazine about how to connect to wifi. I did pay attention on the way back, so I was able to follow the steps to pay and connect.

Wifi of course is not full wifi (at least on this flight).  It is sufficient for social media and surfing the internet, but not watching HBO Go, Netflix, Amazon Prime or other streaming services.  The Airline had some channel that you could stream some limited choices from.  Since I’ve flown, Netflix now enables movie downloading, so planning here goes a long way.  Download some movies or shows 

Also, wifi downloading  was device specific.  Choose your device wisely.  I enabled wifi on my iPad and then realized that I didn’t enable WhatsApp (to communicate with non Apple users)  on my iPad yet.  So that didn’t work too well.  Plus the iPad version of WhatsApp doesn’t enable video, just chat.  So for this reason, it’s probably best to enable wifi on your iPhone or mobile device. Either way, the wifi was worth it.   It’s also nice for tracking your flight and letting friends and family know how your flight is going (on time, early, etc.).

Music

Listen to Music -iTunes….this is a no brainer.  Listen to your music, watch a video  on your iTunes so not only will this cut out the airplane noise but also some conversations that you may not be interested in. In my case, two retired gentleman were talking loud.  While it was not annoying like some kid screaming and crying, having four hours of time with no demands, I wanted to hear myself think instead. 

Another tip, even with wifi, if your iTunes song is in the cloud, good luck listening to it.  It didn’t work consistently for the most part.  So it’s best to make a playlist and ensure that the music is on your device.  Spotify of course didn’t stream on the limited plan wifi.

Here were some songs I didn’t hear for a while but happened to be on my iPhone, not in the cloud.

This song I haven’t heard in years, and it reminded me of the decadence of  some older Bond movies. Times where intercontinental flying was an elegant experience. 

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And again to conjure up images of decadence, think of Diamond Life where the Smooth Operator moves in space with minimum waste and maximum joy.  

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And of course for some Contemporary Decadence, Savvy J

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Also, if you fly frequently, use some noise cancelling headphones.  On the way back, I switched a lot between wifi, iTunes and so forth.  Although this time I had  window seat vs. middle seat, the guy int he middle snored non stop.  Yes, I know worse things can happen (negative externalities that you cannot avoid or dull with earphone), if I flew more often, I would invest in some noise cancelling earphones.

Recharge

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There are multiple ways to do this.  If your laptop is already open, use it to recharge your iPhone.  Save the battery recharger for times when the laptop is closed.  Battery life is still a challenge for mobile devices.  So recharge on your laptop when you can.  The flight I took was not a transcontinental flight so my MacBook Pro didn’t need to be recharged.

Other Activities

Use iPhone Facial Recognition to browse photos – picked some loved ones faces and browsed photos.  Brought back good memories and realized how deeply bonded you are with some.  If you have children you see how fast they change in a couple years.

Other

Go the restroom when the person sitting in the isle seat goes.  Some do sleep on the plane, and since they are already awake, may as well.

And take photos for your blog.  You never know what to use.  You can also use unique photos for your social media accounts and be reminded of your flight.

Here are just a few I took:

I am sure there are other great tips, but for this one trip these worked well.

Of course the ultimate joy is the safe landing:

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