Saturday, June 11, 2011

Keeping Up

We installed a storm door in the entrance to the back patio. My son helped me put it up. A sticker in the door claims that it will save 40% of electricity cost. Perhaps for that immediate area but not the total electric bill. It will filter the cold or heat by adding another layer to the back door which has a glass window. I still need to add a layer of insulation to the inside of the storm door because there’s a sliver of opening that will allow the outside temperature to seep in. This weekend I plan to install an overhead fan. My wife is not keen on this type of fan but it’s popular in the South.  During the summer, I plan to open the fan and the screen door to allow air to come in instead of lowering the temperature of the central unit. Hopefully this will save electricity in the summer. In winter, I plan to wrap a blanket around the water heater to reduce heating cost. I will also place a thin layer of bubble wrap in certain windows which some say would reduce about 15% of heating cost.

I am keeping up my responsibilities at home instead of just watching movies. I had spent too much time lost in thought and the early incident this week snapped me out of it. This weekend I will put in the bicycle hooks in the store room ceiling to save space. I wanted to do that for a long time. I bought the hooks last year but did not feel up to installing it.  I have confidence now after working on the door and brought out my tools like my electric drill which I had bought in Singapore. The store room needs more space after putting all sorts of stuff like my inflatable kayak and collapsible hammock. I still have not used the hammock or the kayak or the bicycle or the trampoline or the golf accessories that I bought. I am spending too much money in an imagined future lifestyle that has not yet come to pass. To keep up with my dreams, I plan to kayak this weekend in Lake Robinson. This activity will replace my weekend skating in the park which I stopped after breaking my wrist 2 years ago in Singapore.

I still plan to run in the weekends but never had the inclination yet. I know running is the answer to keep me healthy with my constant over eating. Running will not resolve all my health concerns but it’s a start. I think this exercise will trigger more sensible. I also planned to keep up with my studies on stock and option investing but I got tied up watching movies in the evening. Obviously the issue is in my use of time. I get distracted easily and tend to focus on other activities which are not my true goal. Going to the library is like an alcoholic going to a saloon. The library is a house of temptation for me where I cannot help but borrow books, CDs, DVDs or magazines that will sap my time during the weekends or evenings after work. Hence, I can be accused of not being serious. My priorities are warped and skewed towards self-indulgence and procrastination. But I am starting to realize that I should wake-up and focus especially since my kids are completing their college in a few years.

I need to get some ideas out to engage them especially if no work is found and, therefore, no income in the early years. Our town house is a starter home and not suitable for a family with young adults with their own cars and lifestyles. I am glad to have moved forward in my plans by attending writing and investing courses and keeping myself sharp by attending Toastmaster and keeping my PMP certification. It’s sharpening the saw ala Steven Covey. In the coming landscape I think the future is based on the Google vision of free application, search advertising and the like. The structural employment problems experienced in the country will become more apparent once all the stimulus and stop gap measures are exhausted. The Google vision is the future and will encompass innovation in the technology field. I now have this idea to get the Google certification for AdWords that will give me a step up and hopefully share with my family.

These future plans require action and careful plans with realistic objectives. Investing in foreclosure properties is also an attractive investment that keeps coming to mind. All these plans are afoot, which can easily get thrown off track with one mistake or unfortunate tragedy or ‘black swan’ event.  Being realistic means being awake in the moment and I am guilty of being one of those walking deluded – living in one’s own inner world. Missing cues that would have opened up different doorways. I now realize what it means to be mindful in the Buddhist sense. Mindfulness has a different meaning and not only in the meditative state. It’s being awake in the present moment and responding to subtle signals that one does not pick up from verbal noise but other means. I think I have missed much from the subtleties of life preferring to move in a perceived superiority but losing out on down to earth realities. One needs to be truly awake.

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