Friday, February 5, 2021

Notations From the Grid (Special Edition): While Out & About....


Our Team decided to do something a bit "different' for this special Friday Edition of Notations which we hope all enjoy as our home state of California reopens--the latest out of the New York Times provides a snapshot:

People eating outside Millie's Cafe in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles on Jan. 31.Philip Cheung for The New York Times

Good morning.

Over the past couple of weeks, amid the continuing roller coaster ride that is the vaccine distribution, not to mention some intense winter weather, California has also been taking some of its biggest strides toward reopening.

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have fallen significantly, and state officials pointed to data suggesting those trends are likely to continue as they explained their abrupt announcement last week that the state was lifting its stringent regional stay-at-home orders.

California’s average positivity rate over the last two weeks is 6.9 percent, after peaking at 14 percent on Jan. 8. Intensive care units, according to state models, are expected to have much more capacity by the beginning of March. Health care workers, nursing home residents and others who are at significant risk of getting seriously sick from Covid-19 are getting vaccinated, even if it’s not at the rate we want.

Still, state officials have warned repeatedly that we’re not out of the woods yet and they’ve urged Californians not to let their guard down on Super Bowl Sunday. There are also those virus variants, which are cause for concern.

Nevertheless, outdoor dining has resumed, there’s no longer a total ban on gathering, people can get haircuts indoors, and some schools have welcomed students back to classrooms.

So here are some scenes from what we can all hope will be the last reopening.

[If you missed it, here’s what to know about the process this time.]

Kindergarten students wore face shields and masks at Resurrection Catholic School in Boyle Heights as the school reopened and celebrated frontline workers on Monday.Etienne Laurent/EPA, via Shutterstock
Sara Nguyen, right, sat behind a plexiglass shield as she gave a manicure to Christine Frazer at KB Nails in Sacramento on Jan. 25.Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press
Though the outdoor dining area of the San Francisco restaurant a Mano was still closed on Jan. 25, Roman Romo kept the floors swept.Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Students from Ramona and Arlington High Schools competed in Riverside on Jan. 30, with some school employees and family members allowed to watch the meet from a distance.Terry Pierson/The Orange County Register, via Associated Press

Outdoor dining in downtown Davis on Jan. 25.Max Whittaker for The New York Times

If a man can reduce his needs to zero, he is truly free: there is nothing that can be taken from him and nothing anyone can do to hurt him." –John Boyd
Food For Thought
Living In A State Of Apatheia

There once was a Roman trader named Stilbo, who often traveled for months at a time.

One day, he returned home to find that a group of Barbarians had sacked his city and killed or kidnapped his entire family. His wife, kids, and friends were gone.

One of his companions turned to Stilbo and asked, "What have you lost?"

"I have lost nothing," he said. "My goods are all with me."

On the surface, this response seems incredibly cold. But Stilbo was a Stoic and had fully embraced the idea of "apatheia". This wasn’t a cold comment, and if dissected, you’ll find it actually shows great love...

Stoicism is "an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge; the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain."

Stoics strive to live in constant "apatheia"—loosely translated as equanimity, or contentment. The idea is to not let petty annoyances, emotions, or "passions" distract you from fully engaging in the present moment. (This piggybacks off of what we discussed yesterday about living in the moment.)

The Stoics believed that loss is one of life’s only constants. And the best way to deal with it is to fully engage with what we have while we have it.

It’s the ultimate philosophy of #NoRagrets.

For Stilbo, the goal was to love and appreciate each moment so fully, that when loss eventually arrived, it held no real power.

For a deeper analysis of stoicism and Stilbo’s story, tune in below. 😎👇

Mission Daily
Stoic Insights for Happier Relationships

Focusing on personal growth is the best way to show commitment in our relationships. In this episode, Chad and Ian discuss mental practices that will help you appropriately value time with those you care about.

Deep Dive
Curiosity + Growth = Satisfaction

"Curiosity + Growth = Satisfaction, meaning, and a journey which is a joy to reflect on. This is one of the master equations for relationships. It leads towards uplifting relationships which get better with time, and offers us memories to reflect on when we face future loss. The journey becomes the reward, and we explore and live life fully."

Read the essay.

Add This To Your Bookshelf:
Letters from a Stoic: Epistulae Morales Ad Lucilium

On the surface, stoicism seems uncaring and anti-emotion. Seneca helps shift that perspective. In these letters, he "transforms [Stoicism] into a powerfully moving and inspiring declaration of the dignity of the individual mind."

Check it out.

Music To Help You Focus At Work

Need something to drown out the noise of the office dog barking or Nancy chowing down on her carrot-filled salad?

We recommend the Deep Focus Playlist on Spotify. 🎶 🎧

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