whole > sum of its parts

The whole is often greater than a sum of its parts. The parts are enjoyable all the same. Some more than the others.

Well first, I missed out on the excitement of picking up my copy of Killing Commendatore from Books Inc on Tuesday.  My cold (or allergies whichever it is) has continued for a month now. And on Tuesday I felt like I was coming down with fever. I left work early and slept like a log for two hours, until Tara and Agam came home. The nap was so refreshing and just what I needed. In the meanwhile, Agam picked up my copy on his way back from work.

I could not read a word on Tuesday. How could that be! Oh well! Health first. I slept early on Wednesday for an early morning bus ride to Folsom. So I did not read on Wednesday either. Finally caught on to the first 60 pages on the bus ride, but was so tired by the end of the day that I did not read any more at night. And that brings us to the weekend. Even though I didn’t start strong, I am certain I will finish the 695 pages in less than a week. At least that’s the challenge I am setting up for myself. I should have bought this book on kindle, it is so heavy that I cannot even hold it in one hand 😦 Note that the Japanese edition of this book was split into two volumes. Smarty pants – as always. I am sure Shungo would chuckle if he ever read this! But will Shungo ever read this? Nope, no chance 😀

On Thursday I went to Folsom for work. To spend time with people who use what I build/design/influence whatever one wants to call it. Spending time with the real users is my favorite part of my job. I used to do a lot of it way back when. It was nice to go back to it. Apart from the professional joy I derive from talking to end customers, I also find a lot of personal joy in talking to people whose life is very different from mine. It is a humbling experience listening to someone explain their job, as repetitive it sounds, and how rewarding they think it is. People have so many stories that they share, without really telling them. The subtle references that reveal their passion for their job, or sometimes their grievances.

I wonder if I had their job, what I’d do differently. Or if I could even do that job at all. It is also very inspiring to watch a human empathize with another human. It is like watching a ballet. Perfectly synchronized responses, the right adjectives. Just the right amount of emotion, blended with tacts. Despite the fact that I spent six hours on a bus yesterday, I was pretty charged by the few interactions I had with the folks I met.

Today at the training session when Dylan asked me if I wanted to pick up the steps (5 pounds) or the weight (45 pounds); I was quick to pick the weight. It was fun to maneuver the weight into its hold. My arms will curse me tomorrow. While I was stretching, I shared with him a little tid bit about myself. I almost always pick the tougher job. It is part of my upbringing. It is not always the right choice, but my mind is trained to pick the higher effort task, since I am conditioned to think that the reward will be so much more. Most of the time I am proven right. But there are times when I make things unnecessarily hard for myself.

That got him thinking. He pondered where he falls on the spectrum. I nudged him to think in terms of the major life choice he has made, like choosing to live in Bay area even though his parents live in Sacramento. He has to work twice as hard to make a living here. But he chose this life. Dylan is prepping for pre med. That also reflects his disposition for challenging tasks.

Dylan is a good kid. I am very proud of his decision to leave his waiter job, and EMT job and focus on his pre-med exams instead. He was finding it hard to balance the multiple jobs and his coursework. And over a few sessions we chatted about what really matters to him. And how he can expedite his pre-med preps by cutting down on work, and doubling down on studies. Our little give and take. He is my trainer, and I am his coach. I sure hope he gets into med school soon. Amen!

Tara and I missed our bubble tea and book shop ritual this evening since I got a little late at work. She was mad at me for being late. But the playtime at bedtime was enough to please her. We are excited about the Elephant and the Piggie at Play tomorrow at the Heritage Theater.

Friday nights are so much more relaxed as parents. Agam is playing trailers of all upcoming movie he can find. We hardly watch movies in a theater these days, but we like to keep up with the trailers. There is so much selection bias in his playlist. So I have challenged him to normalize his unreal tinseltown [read, superhero, imaginary unbelievable stuff ;)] with some real dramas and thrillers. The selection is getting better. I am looking forward to First Man, with Claire Foy and Ryan Gosling; and the new Godzilla movie made the cut too. Also Tarantino is back with a new movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and I’d also like to watch the Bohemian Rhapsody.

I also made promise this week which will be somewhat hard to keep. I don’t think I will ever forget the most casual circumstances in which I promised V something I’d love to really do someday, but something I put no effort towards. Well, if I do keep the promise, she will get the credit. So here’s to her, and her ask. [She was always a demanding boss ;)]

One of things I love to ask Agam for, and something he is exceptionally good at, is to pick a random music snippet from the background score of a movie, or in this case a trailer, and set him on a chase to find the piece. Tonight it was Claire de lune. But YT Music led me down this path and it was beautiful. And if you liked that, here’s more from Chopin.

Btw the moon was beautiful tonight, especially when it was on its ascent. I stopped to just look at it for one whole minute. It was nice to take that time out of my day 🙂

Just like sometimes the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts, a string of memories, a series of events, a bunch of conversations, a few misses, a promise and some unplanned events, all added up to a week that was way more meaningful and purposeful, than the sum total of the individual experiences.

Amen to that!


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