Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A good day

Yesterday was a good day. Most definitely. It started with some don-yu's, a tai chi exercise that some mistake for sit-ups. At work there was lots of hoopla around the chip we are trying to make - project managing anything in a research environment makes cat herding look benign. Listening to one of our interns whine that firewalls are not set up exactly according to his needs was the low point of the day. I did manage to find some time for my own research, so I wrote a few pages of a memo discussing why parallel programming is hard. Most importantly, I managed to stop myself and went to the gym to work out. A bit of running on an elliptical machine and a solid dose of tor-yu's, a tai chi stretch that saved my back when I was competing in squash. Nice veggie soup for supper, a very tai chi set with Jasna. We ended the day early.

The day was not perfect by any stretch of imagination. Yet I felt very good, both physically and mentally. The mind was pliable and fresh, the step was bouncy. No desire for additional entertainment that would make me stay up long. No desire for late night work either. Even the realization that Jasna would have to redo the whole-day worth of her work was not derailing.

I like a good day and I'll take it any day. In fact, I want a good day to be the norm and I am not that sure it has been. So, what is the recipe? One part of rest and one part of exercise. A pinch of detachment and a spoon of engagement? Two cups of sunshine?

How much is external and how much is internal?

I guess I am asking a well digested question with no easy answer. One thing I can say, however: Carpe diem refers to the day. Not the year. Not the minute. It is a day that is the unit of life.

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