Fortnightly Dispatch No. 03
This is Scott Anderson, and this is the Fortnightly Dispatch, where I share what’s catching my attention and highlight a few personal + family notes and photos from the past two weeks.
This newsletter, and the Notes & Photos blog, is meant to replace social media (for me), as I delete and wean off those channels and instead share with people in a more thoughtful way (ideally, with people I actually know and like).
Rancho Santa Margarita Lake | Sunday Walk
Notable Reads & Listens
I’m embracing “Otium Sanctum” as a theme for 2021, having come across the Latin phrase in Richard Foster’s book, “The Celebration of Discipline.”
"Otium Sanctum is the pursuit of balance in life, an ability to be at peace throughout the activities of the day, and ability to rest and take time to enjoy beauty, and ability to pace ourselves. Also known as holy leisure & rest for the soul."
An entertaining dose of satire in this opinion piece by Jon Methven on “How to Take a Walk” (in these pandemic times).
“I’m going for a walk. It’s a brisk morning. The sun is shining; it’s a beautiful winter day. I have my N95 mask. I have my bottle of hand sanitizer. I’m wearing a polyurethane laminate jacket over a fluid-resistant surgical gown over a Kevlar vest, all of which is covered by a high-visibility orange safety parka. It will be a refreshing stroll.”
The Tail End by Tim Urban made its debut in 2015-ish, but is worth visiting every year (which I just did). Eye opening! And, puts our short time on Earth in perspective.
Priorities matter. Your remaining face time with any person depends largely on where that person falls on your list of life priorities. Make sure this list is set by you—not by unconscious inertia.
Quality time matters. If you’re in your last percentages of time with someone you love, keep that fact in the front of your mind when you’re with them and treat that time as what it actually is: precious.
I enjoyed this insightful interview with author James Clear…this nugget, in particular:
“I have 17 books on my desk right now. I'm not reading 17 books, but they're there. For my physical environment, I try to sprinkle good sources of information all around. I have books sitting next to me, I have some next to my bed, and I have some on the coffee table in the living room. I'm never far from a good idea. Most of them aren't mine, but they're always there for me to build upon and soak up and think about and iterate on. That's how I think about optimizing my environment for having good ideas.”
Seasons — This time of year marks one of my favorite seasons in Southern California. The mood of the harbor differs from the Summer months, as the crowds thin and moments of stillness materialize. I was drawn to the rays of the sun breaking through the clouds in this moment, like mini spotlights honing in on various vessels. (captured via iPhone / low res snapshot)
Gia and I continue to support our favorite local sushi restaurant (in these tough times for small, family owned restaurants/businesses)…with a slight nuance: We’ve been re-loacting Friday Date Nights to our bedroom floor. I’m grateful for the view!
EXODUS 90 — Today marks Day 29 (of 90). On the disciplines — Fasting between meals is becoming increasingly difficult, so some caloric modifications are being made. I’m learning a lot about myself through the self-discipline and avoidance of indulgences (asceticism), and experiencing a growing peacefulness when I take the time for proper reading, reflection and prayer. With that said, still reaching for the higher bar, and looking forward to the days ahead.
Lake Walks have been creeping back into our weekend itinerary, and I was excited to discover that “Santa Margarita Lake Loop” is now an option in the AllTrails app (small things that bring great joy). Worth noting: I’m the one to blame for the slow pace, not Gia (I prefer to keep these scenic walks out of the “cardio” bucket).
This past Sunday we took a family outing to the DunkinDonuts + Baskin Robbins where Ethan works (with a curiosity to try their blueberry coffee, and perhaps embarrass Ethan a bit).
Ethan was unfortunately on break, and the blueberry coffee was amazing…but the highlight, by far, was the manager’s comments when I went to pay for the $20+ order. “It’s on the house … [pause] … ESPECIALLY for Ethan’s parents and family.” #ProudPapa
From the Print Shop
(Click here for prints)
Thanks for reading — feel free to forward to anyone who you think might enjoy following along.