Over the holiday break I took some time to recharge myself. Below are some of the topics I sampled.
What did you do to recharge yourself during the holidays?
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I traded up from my old Blackberry to a new iPhone 4S, so now I can read my nook and Kindle books on my phone. That allowed me to finally finish Ayn Rand’s Philosophy: Who Needs It, a collection of her essays and speeches that I found many years ago while searching about for interesting speeches given to military academy audiences (See this post about Secretary Gates’ series of speeches to the academies). Now I’m on to flipping through The Iliad when I have small moments to spare.
I couldn’t get away from the paper books however. I finished Half-Life of Facts by Arbesman and A Mathematician’s Lament by Lockhart. I’m still contemplating how best to turn each into a blog post or several posts.
With those books complete to round out the year I still hit my goal of 30+ books per year, though I’ve had to augment my regular fare of business and history books with a healthy diet of children’s book to keep my numbers up and my children happy. Such is the joyful fate of a mother of young children: the pull to read, and read, and read to the little ones.
I rushed out on December 26th to see the new version of Les Mis hit the big screen. The beauty of the music and the message overtook me. The adaptation is raw in the right ways, showing sharp details of the consequences of free will, faith, suffering, and a difference between a divine morality and a law driven morality. It’s a movie worth seeing for more than its entertainment value. It should prompt in you a desire to have a long-overdue philosophical discussion about life’s purpose, probably just the conversation Hugo hoped to spark by writing it long ago.
On December 28th I attended the 7th installment of what I fondly call Edmonds Day, a semi-annual gathering of change agents. We start before 8 AM in an Edmonds, Washington Starbucks and migrate to a local diner for brunch then someone’s house for late lunch/early dinner and many more hours of conversation. I usually end the night catching a 8:30 PM ferry home to the other side of the water. Though the group was smaller this time than in sessions past, the conversation was always lively and many new ideas were tossed about and considered from many angles. True to his giver-of-intellectual-connections strengths, Steve Holt (@skholt) provided me more than a few titles to attempt to read in 2013. I’ll always be grateful to Hilbert Robinson (@hrobinson), a plank owner of Edmonds Day, for sharing his larger change agent network with me. I treasure my Edmonds Days each year.
Today I took the opportunity to spend the day with my family at the King Tut exhibit at our local science center. It was a treat to watch my seven year old run about with a decoding page attempting to read the hieroglyphics and then to hear her start planning her life as an archeologist. Afterwards she and I stayed late in Seattle to sample the Seattle Art Museum on their First Thursday free day. We’ve been to the SAM before so we beat a straight path to our favorite paintings then found a few new treasures too. I love those little moments of mother and daughter. They are small memory gems that fuel me for weeks afterward.