Numbers from my past life as a long distance runner, from the first marathon in 2008 to the hospital stay last year:
- dates: 23 nov 2008-14 Aug 2012 (1,360 days)
- number of runs: 1,483
- distance: 12,614.7 km
- duration: 1,220 hr 23 min 37 sec
Just for the sake of record keeping.
When I work hard on something and get rewarded, it feels great. True reward is not something I get from other people. I don’t care about praises or awards. One’s life should be independent of other’s thoughts and actions. Happiness must be self-given. If you try to impress other people you will not respect your own values.
I was a long distance runner. It was hard work. To keep going as the body wanted to stop wasn’t easy. But the more I trained, the stronger and faster I got. Then I could push harder… and the limit got expanded.
Running gives me a feeling of real accomplishment. It’s about having the discipline of getting myself out there. It’s about stopping making excuses. It’s about fighting the urge to quit.
The joy that running gives is personal and doesn’t depend on anybody else.
These days, I’ve been easing back into running. Only 2-3 times a week, 12 min each time. The legs are not ready to do long distance. But 12 min is enough for me now. I do what I can. I know I don’t need exercises to keep my weight stable. Goals are simply pleasure and health.
Maybe if I work in a farm or manual labor, where I get to use my body more, I wouldn’t need to run. But for someone with a desk job, running is a good medicine for both the mind and body.
A Friday morning musing. Inspired by this.
It’s all fleeting.
I have a limited time in this world. Each minute, my life is expiring. I am walking toward my death, as is everyone else.
What do I want before I die? I don’t want much. I don’t want things. I don’t care about reaching any goals. I am at peace with who I am. I am at peace with the naturalness of death and the short life I have. My life span of 60-80 years, compared to the 14 billion years of the universe, is a brief flash. I matter as much as a blade of grass in a football field, or a speck of sand on a beach. My mind is free from the chasing and yearning. I am ready to die everyday.
Some want to be recognized by other people. “I want to be remembered fondly. I want to be the best this, best that. I want to leave a mark. I want to make a difference.” But they forget that reputation matters none once they are dead. Praises and condemnations are meaningless to the corpses, either burnt into ashes or decomposed underground. The souls, well I don’t know anything about that so I won’t guess. Even if memories of yourself are kept in the minds of many people, one day they will be dead too. One day the existence of you will be completely forgotten.
Be at peace with being forgotten.
Everything you ever were, ever did, ever created, ever thought, ever dreamed will no longer matter one day. Gone without a trace. The Earth will go on with different people on it. One day, even the Earth will cease to exist too.
If you are worried or upset about something in your life, ask yourself, “Will this matter 100 years from now?”. A troubled mind is worse than death, as it takes away the precious moments in the short life you have.
Focus on here and now. No past, no future. They don’t matter. Live a good life. How? The first step to completely detach from the externals (things not in your control). Be indifferent about sickness, bad reputation, poverty, and death. Those are not yours to control, so don’t feel like you have to feel anything about them. Also be indifferent about their opposites. They cannot upset you. Only your judgement can.
Disregard how other people treat you or what they think of you. Such are external too. Disregarding does not mean ignoring them. You can, and should, think about their actions and attitudes, but then do not judge them. Detach emotionally. Do not be angry. Be wise. They have reasons to act foolishly and say things that seem upsetting. Try your best to understand those reasons and realize that they have nothing to do with you. Realize that nobody can make you unhappy. It is your perception of their words and actions that is able to.
That is the first step: disregard things beyond your control. Then, go to the second and final step: Do what you think is right. Use your wisdom to select actions you feel is appropriate. Live each moment with a virtuous mind, and gracefully accept life and death as they come.
The first step is very important. Go from there.
Make this brief, fleeting existence a good one.
I have always preferred a minimal and simple life. Possessing material things is not something that makes me happy.
Like most people, I used to make dumb purchases, where I bought things I didn’t really need. As I grow older I’ve become wiser about spending.
Mentally, stuff weighs on your mind. Stuff requires maintenance. It collects dust. It gets in the way. It breaks. Tech stuffs become outdated quickly and their upgrade cycles never end.
The more stuff you own, the more burden you have and the more you have to lose.
I feel like I have all the material things I need. A house to live in. A car to get around. A laptop to learn. A basic phone for emergency. Just enough. I always look to give away things I no longer use.
Money isn’t a big deal when you don’t care about stuff. I don’t buy too many things for myself. Three good meals a day and nice clothes once in a while don’t cost that much. I don’t make much money but I’m comfortable financially. It’s freeing.
A weekend to relax. Tonight Nan made delicious pumpkin and carrot soup (pictured). I cooked omelette.
This month I begin another food experiment. I will be more strict about avoiding sugar and I will limit fruits to only coconuts.
Yesterday evening I spent nearly 3 hours on my way home from a meeting. I think Bangkok traffic is hopeless. We need many more BTS and MRT lines. Was able to just “go with the flow” and be calm throughout the sweaty weather and snail-like traffic. It’s pointless to be upset. It’s just the way it is.
Peace is within.
Decide to be well today. You may not live to see tomorrow. Better: be well now as the next hour may never come. Life is fleeting. Don’t decide to be upset.
At least I got to go home and cook dinner for my wife. My senior coworker, who died last week, was cremated yesterday. He left this world and will never return home to his family. On the scale of things, 3 hours is a blink of an eye.
These past couple days I was rather let down by food I bought outside. Thai food from most restaurants and stalls is too sweet, salty, and full of cheap fillers. It’s better to cook at home. Cheaper too.
As a new year’s resolution, I promised myself to feed my body with the best food I can afford and nourish the mind with good thoughts. Don’t eat crap. Don’t be angry. Life is too short to eat bad food and think bad thoughts.
We had a family gathering yesterday. Birthday party for kids, too. It’s good to keep in touch. Lots of food at the potluck lunch. I had mostly steak and grilled chicken. Took a bite of sweet mango sticky rice. Nan and I skipped dinner afterward as we were not hungry.
Played with a Shih Tzu dog of Nan’s auntie. So small.
At my parents’ house, we are without a dog for the first time in over 20 years. Sometimes I miss having dogs around. But I also like the freedom and serenity of not having to take care of another life. Seeing my old dogs in pain as they were close to their deaths was hard.
One day we’ll be gone too. It’s just a matter of time. Transformation is part of nature.