Things you Need to Do and Things you Want to Do… and wondering when you could do the latter

There are 24 hours in a day. 12 hours are spent on sleep, meals, getting ready, traffic, routine… the nitty-gritty. And then there’s work, which consumes pretty much the rest – 8 hours spent listening to meetings, going from one place to the next, clacking away in front of a laptop. Sometimes (most times in fact), work stretches to 10 hours.

Which leaves to 2 hours. 2 hours for YOU.

Or is it really just for you?

There are house matters to take care of. Bills. That leak in the sink that needs to be fixed ASAP. Some of you may have homework to help finish with your kids. A baby that needs a new diaper.

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you realize that there are things you need to do and things you want to do… and somehow there is never any time to do the latter.

Things like hitting the golf course, playing tennis, fishing, exploring Montana with the Mrs., reading a book – not to learn so much as to enjoy the play of words. Having a phone conversation with my son, Koby Bernard. Playing chess with nobody but myself, simply because I want to relish the silence being punctuated by the tap of the chess piece on the wooden board.

The irony is that we delay these simple pleasures to earn money. And we earn money to secure a better future and enjoy the finer things in life.

But when is it time to start the “enjoying” part? Now that the flush of youth has left me, in my senior years? My back too frail to truly enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle? My eyes too strained to read more than a few chapters?

Or should it have been years back, at the prime of my life, when I felt like I could conquer the world? When instead I chose to limit my world to the confines of work and routine?

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Beyond Montana: Mule Deer and their Incredible Journey

Say hello to these mule deer:

mule deer

They’re cute-looking creatures, aren’t they? This is a photo taken years back, somewhere in Montana.

I mention them today because of their fascinating migration story, which evoked emotions akin to when I first heard about the penguin’s story.

These deer spend several months travelling across 150 miles via the Red Desert-to-Hoback route. Right now, the route is surprisingly clear from any human obstruction but that can well change – part of the trek includes a single path, with a land that is currently for sale.

Fortunately, the Conservation Fund has purchased that land to preserve it but it will take months more of observation and tracking to be able to fully preserve this route.

Learn more about the mule deer here

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Neil deGrasse Tyson in Montana State University this March

I am looking forward to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s talk at MSU this coming March 4! His passion in science clearly shows in the manner he talks, and I would very much like to behold his passion in person. Though I have always found myself gravitating towards numbers and business-related topics, I feel that immersing myself in other fields from time to time allows me to expand my horizons, and stretch my mind.

Just a few things about the astrophysicist:

1. he has a doctorate in astrophysics from Columbia University
2. he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by NASA.
3. he is a host of several science TV programs
4. he was last year’s Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Reality Show Host, for his show “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” (that he was chosen above shows like The Voice, and So You Think You Can Dance tells me the world has hope yet!)
5. He was named as one of the 10 most influential people in science in a 2008 issue of Discover Magazine Learn more about

Neil Tyson’s talk in Montana here

Other Related Montana State University results: Feb 12, Commented by Koby Bernard

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15 Things Every Over-Thinker Has Experienced

This is for all the overthinkers out there. #7 really hit close to home. To add to the list: aspirational thoughts, thoughts and analysis about a particular movie I had just watched (even if it’s just a silly fictitious movie, I’d most likely analyze it down to its core)

Thought Catalog

The Truman Show The Truman Show

1. When you have a big day coming up (e.g. job interview, big test, date, etc.) you play out several worst-case scenarios — some ridiculous, some feasible. You’re not trying to be negative, but your brain is preparing you for the infinite ways things can go awry.

2. That dreaded moment when one of the outlandish, ridiculous worst-case scenarios you were worried about actually happens in real life. Now you’re convinced that your paranoid ways are justified, because if one worry can come true, aren’t all of them valid?

3. Panicking when you’re up next to order in a drive-thru or at a restaurant because you’re losing the battle to a menu. Indecision + being pressed for time = flustered decisions. Sometimes you even order a meal you didn’t particularly want because pressure.

4. When you’ve got things to get done, you prefer to devise a super detailed plan of attack, which…

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Support Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Project!

At 17 years old, Boyan Slat was not simply sowing his wild oats. On a dive trip to Greece, he became concerned about the pollution problem – he was seeing more plastic bags than fishes! His frustration did not end with a mere rant; no, instead, he decided to tackle the problem himself.

2 years later, he has created a feasible prototype to rid of plastic. Instead of going for the plastic, he lets the plastic go to him! He takes advantage of natural winds and currents, and floating devices to concentrate the plastic debris into one area – making it easy for period collection. These solid floating barriers are better than nets because they only collect plastic – living organisms are not harmed.

The theory boasts of a projected high capture and field efficiency but for a theory to be put into tangible practice, some funds are, of course, needed and that’s where each of us comes in. This is a crowdfunding project and every dollar counts. If you, like Boyan Slat, want to make a difference, consider donating:

https://fund.theoceancleanup.com/

They expect a fully operational system in 3 to 5 years, once it is successfully funded.

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The Other Donald R Bernard

Donald Bernard is also a photographer and artist working in LA.  This is a different Donald Bernard from the author of Bullion but nevertheless also in the field of art.  Donald’s art is based on a pastiche of photographs and hand paintings, examples of which can be found below:

 

BWSSEarthMotherABlkWmSSGloriaB5.jpg.w180h132

Most of Donald Bernard’s work deal with black culture: black women’s spirituality in particular.  A list of his exhibitions can be found here: http://mysite.verizon.net/donaldbernard/id7.html Some of the more notable exhibits include his first exhibition in 1998 help in Watts Towers in the Greater Los Angeles area.  The latest exhibit on record was also held in LA for African American History Month.

 

Grown Ups and The Great Outdoors

I had low expectations when a rerun of the Grown Ups movie showed on TV. That it was starring several big names in comedy suggested that it would be just one of those crazy movies that’s more slapstick and laughter than anything else. I was very pleasantly surprised though that while the movie did have its offensive moments, it highlighted something I feel strongly about:

The family that goes outdoors together, stays together

What is it about the great outdoors that brings you closer together? Sure, you can argue that you stay with your family at home, watch TV together, but there is something about nature’s display that makes the experience even more memorable.

In front of the TV, there is something that demands most, if not all of your attention – hundreds of images flashing before you at breakneck speed. They are for your personal consumption. They bring you to a whole new world. Even if you are beside your loved ones, giving out occasional comments, ultimately the experience is just you and the TV. It’s even worse now that we have all these gadgets around – the iPad for example. Apps are so engaging that you can enjoy without any other human companion.

On the very opposite end, the beauty of the outdoors seems to be heightened when you are in good company. A sunset is beautiful even if it is just you sitting down on a bench gazing at it, but there is something that makes you desire to be with someone – the urge to hold someone’s hand and revel in the glorious painting before you.

lake

What good is skipping rocks when nobody is there to skip with you and marvel at the distance? And what a waste is it to enjoy a cool dip in the lake alone when you can share the gift to others?

A barbecue meal is best enjoyed by the whole family, with everyone doing their part.

A big catch of fish should be celebrated by all.

A friend can help you row the boat.

A swing will not move by itself without someone to push it.

 

Nature compels you to love and to be one with everything and everyone around you.

The family that goes outdoors together, stays together

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The Toughest Job in the World

Are you ready to take on the toughest job in the world? The title is DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS but it’s so much more than that.

Here’s what to expect:
– no pay
– close to 24/7 work
– you will be constantly on your feet, bending over, standing
– high level of stamina needed
– there are no breaks available
– You can only have lunch when your associates are done eating their lunch
– negotiation and interpersonal skills
– a degree in medicine, finance and culinary arts

Is this even legal to demand something like this? Yes, it is. Find out more about the toughest job:

Happy Mother’s Day! And I don’t just mean this May 11. Let’s celebrate it every single day. Because our mothers never stop celebrating you and taking care of you, either

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Make Memories that are JUST YOURS

This summer, put your phone away for a few days.

Make some memories that no-one knows about.

Make some memories that are just yours

Image

I stumbled upon this image and just had to blog it because I feel so strongly about it.

And may I add that you try to engrave these personal memories in your brain. Not just through photos. Take mental photos. Enjoy the view – the sun, the sand, the sea – with your own eyes and not just the camera lens. I see people spending the whole duration of musical performances just taking videos and photos. What a waste! Try to soak in the experience with just your senses and you’ll be amazed at how much you will appreciate it.

Go out there and make your secret memories!

* This isn’t the first time I talked about technological distractions. Read about my proposal for an even better Earth Hour here.

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